There’s nothing wrong with taking small steps. In fact, I find it’s a huge strategy for success.
There’s also nothing wrong with wanting non-material outcomes from your life. Not everyone needs or wants hundreds of millions of dollars or tons of stuff.
But… I will venture to say this as I’ve seen it hundreds of times and lived it for a large part of my life:
It’s not a great situation when you aim for less than what you truly want.
It’s not creative, it’s not motivating, it’s not fulfilling, it can create a lot of extra work, it can steer you down far more circuitous paths and it’s just not that fun.
So, I ask myself today as I ask you:
Are you aiming high enough?
Here are a few ways I know that I need to raise the bar higher and get more clear on what I want.
They’ve been echoed by clients and friends for years, and when I see them pop up in my own life, it’s time to raise the bar:
It’s easy to hang back, roll with things and create much less.
When I start feeling like– people are blocking me, life is just happening to me, there’s nothing I can do, I just don’t feel like it, I feel tired all the time for no reason– that’s when I know I need to have a much more potent aim.
There’s little sense of a thrill at what will happen next.
If you’re not wondering what amazing things will happen today or what you’ll discover or who you’ll see or what beautiful things will come to you, you might want to see if you’re aiming for things that sound good on paper or for things that you literally can not wait to accomplish!
Doing “just what’s required” seems fine.
If you’re just doing exactly what’s required and not one ounce more, you’re describing the last day job I had that was so completely not for me on so many levels that I felt my energy down-spiraling every day…
…until, that is, I decided to go the extra mile. Even though it wasn’t my ultimate aim, I had a dream and I was going to give 100% to everything I did to get to my next destination. That strategy really worked. There’s very little growth. Or, some decline.
If you’re doing the same-same-same and you’re not interested in growth, you’ll slowly but surely start seeing things decline a bit.
No matter where you are in your career/life/mission, there’s always room to grow.
I feel like I’m just learning my craft and I learn more every day, fifteen years later, as it evolves.
It becomes easier to make excuses.
When you aren’t excited about doing something it’s quite simple to come up with a lot of reasons why you can’t / shouldn’t/ aren’t able to do them.
Things feel less “sharp and clear.”
Creative muses don’t flock quickly to ideas that have no love behind them.
If you don’t get to where you want to be you don’t choose to learn from it and try again but, rather, get a bit less interested in trying again.
You might even consider quitting.
After all, it’s not that dynamic to show up every day hoping to break even or doing exactly the same things and not even caring too much about what the outcomes will be.
I have done every single one of the above.
I have also seen what happens when the bar get’s raised higher— when the fitness goal is actually something desired not just “adequate”, when the creative projects start taking shape that are the ones wanted, not the ones everyone else is doing.
When you’re aiming high enough, you have a lot of horsepower behind you. You feel it. You are invested. And, even in those times where you don’t hit the target the first time, you learn from it and come back so much stronger and you couldn’t imagine not trying again and again because you love the journey and the results equally.
Something as simple as letting yourself dream big enough can re-calibrate your energy, your creativity and your outcomes in the most brilliant ways!
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And, as always, please let me know what happens!