Avoid This Bad Advice

BeFunky_morning light.jpg

I’m going on a bit of a rant this morning. Something I don’t do very often. I saw some advice in Success Magazine this morning about setting reasonable goals. The example given was not to set a goal of writing a book this year but instead start with something less intimidating like writing 3 pages or joining a writers class.

I understand the intention behind the advice but it’s still bad advice.. If you set a goal of writing 3 pages or joining a writing class it has no action because it leaves out a time frame for accomplishing those goals. So first off the time element is missing. Writing 3 pages , what, a day? maybe that’s even too big a goal, how about 3 pages a week. When are you going to join the writers class?

The problem is you are starting at the bottom in that place of reasonableness and you have nothing to inspire that (lets just say its an everyday goal of writing three pages) commitment to writing or attending a writing class. You’ve tried to short-circuit the process of building a big dream, but the elephant(the big dream) is still in the room, you just aren’t acknowledging it. That’s a huge mistake.

If the big goal you are so afraid of is writing a book in a year, or this year, that you don’t even want to state it, then you end up with an empty task. Why are you writing three pages a day? What’s your motivation, why are you doing this?

But if you say I have a dream of writing a book in a year, then the reason you are writing 3 pages a day suddenly has purpose, and excitement that gives you the passion to keep on writing those 3 pages a day when you hit a snag, or get writers block or Tuesday night’s are when all your favorite programs are on T.V. Having an unattached daily task with no bigger purpose than to write 3 pages a day will collapse within days, without something bigger to sustain it.

I’m quoting from the article now, which is in the September (2014) issue of Success Magazine called, Negating Negativity: “The satisfaction of reaching these smaller goals will motivate you to reach for the next one.” True, but only if you have a bigger goal. Only if you’ve stated and visualized your dream. You can’t work up from the bottom with out something above to aim for. You can’t avoid looking at that big formidable dream that you have(or should) created for yourself, from your passions, and your humanity that inspires you to go out and practice your craft again and again:  A dream that will sustain you through the bumps and the obstacles and the failures. You have to put the staircase there before you walk up it.

Get the S.M.A.R.T acronym out of your head until you are down in the grit of  daily battle. Then just be reasonable enough to set a task you just might…with a little struggle, get done each day.

But for the rest of it…do not let reasonableness set in, fight the desire to add something that would make the big dream a little more reasonable. Fight the temptation. It’s hard.

Mostly we fall short.  We don’t dream big enough.

I don’t care how big an authority someone is, I don’t care how many letters they have after their name, if they are telling you to be reasonable with your dream, it’s just plain bad advice. Listen to T.S. Eliot instead.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. Source: T.S. Eliot

Here’s something else to think about regarding your dream: In building your dream you only fail if you achieve it.

You dream needs to stay out in front of you. It will change and grow as you grow to fill the dream.

If you fully achieve your dream, you have failed to dream big enough.


If it came true, it wasn’t much of a dream. Source: Mignon McLaughlin




Don’t be reasonable: Talk to me about Kore 4  Skype me @ nicknick90



Leave a comment
  • Oh, Nick. How absolutely right you are. What a terrific post!

    I once belonged to a writer’s group that seemed to have it going on. They met on Tuesday, I believe, and the mantra of the group was “If you write a page a day you will have a 365 page book in just a year”.

    I still have a couple hundred non related pages…from 25 years ago.

    Thanks Nick. And thanks for the permission to be unreasonable.
    Tom Wacker recently posted…EXCUSESMy Profile

  • Thanks for bringing this great article back to our attention, Nick! I think I read it when you first published it too. I agreed then, I agree now.

    If you set small goals without a bigger picture in mind, they will remain small goals, and their power of compounding over time is limited. Plus you don’t have the driving force of a big objective to keep you motivated.

    But if you see them as small pieces of a larger, possibly huge puzzle (which is your dream or audacious goal), then you know accomplishing them will move you one step closer to achieving your dream. And that’s where motivation lies.

    No dream leads to lack of motivation which will result in failure or abandonment in the end.
    Adrian Gurgui recently posted…Adrian’s Interviews: Meet Lucie BellemareMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright © 2013-14. Created by Meks. Content by Nick Grimshawe.  Powered by WordPress.

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline