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7 Impossible Goals You Need To Stop Going After

7 Impossible Goals You Need To Stop Going After

Setting goals is a critical aspect of both short and long-term success. Goals help propel you forward, keeping you focused and on track. Goals can also transform unconquerable mountains into passable hills. These are the seemingly “impossible” goals worthy of pursuing. While difficult to achieve, these incredible endeavors stretch you, bring out your best and force you to find new opportunities and resources.

However, some goals are not labeled impossible goals just because they are really, really hard. They are labeled impossible because they actually cannot be achieved. Save yourself the heartache and kick these energy suckers to the curb. Here are 7 impossible goals you need to stop pursuing:

1. Aiming to Please Everyone and Avoiding Conflict

Bill Cosby once said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” He was right. Life is comprised of duality, but aiming to please everyone and avoiding conflict is an impossible pursuit. At some point you are going to ruffle some feathers. Not everyone is going to want to do business with you. There will be some who turn their noses at your crusade. That’s okay.

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Whatever the circumstances, one of two things will likely happen: 1) those not of the same mindset or interested will simply leave you to do your good work, uninterrupted or 2) those who do not immediately leave will be challenged by you and perhaps come away with a different point of view. Be open to different perspectives, without being rattled.

2. Never Experiencing Failure

In John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward, he says, “Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” What a great way to look at failure! Failure ends many good endeavors because it’s perceived as an indicator of worthiness and most of us cannot endure the pain. We cannot conceive of failing greatly and having to try all over again. Failure is going to happen. It’s inevitable. The sooner you face, accept and utilize it, the faster you will achieve success.

3. Achieving Success Without Making Any Mistakes

Where failure represents a possible end result, mistakes occur as a part of the process. I’m of the belief that there are no mistakes. There are choices, and those choices have consequences. We only consider a choice a mistake if we don’t like the consequence. If the consequence is favorable, we don’t consider the choice a mistake.

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So do we really make mistakes or do we merely learn from the consequences we face? Either way, it’s the little stumbles that make us stronger. If you’ve made a choice and the consequences are not favorable, learn from the lessons and apply them as you continue your journey to greater success.

4. Being in Love All of the Time

All relationships are cyclical. The stages include getting to know each other, infatuation, passion, intimacy, compassion and back to getting to know each other all over again. The passion that comes with feeling and being in love is the most celebrated stage. This is when the sparks fly! Unfortunately, no relationship can sustain that level of intensity indefinitely. Hopefully those strong emotions resurface cyclically, but having an expectation of always experiencing romantic fiery love will leave you assuming something is wrong when you’re not feeling it.

All stages of relationships are important to grow closer and fall more deeply in love. Acknowledge where you are in your relationship and enjoy it!

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5. Being the Best in Every Area of Your Life

Diluting your energy, focus and resources trying to master or perfect several areas is a quick path to mediocrity. Just as we can’t be all things to all people, we can’t be perfect in every area of our lives. We all have strengths and weaknesses. We can collaborate with others to fill in our gaps, and our strengths can be invaluable to others.

Identify your strengths and your priorities and put your energy there. I have a friend whose favorite acronym is FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Success. It’s brilliant and has led him to be an expert in a very specific area and he has capitalized on that.

6. Never Having to Ask for Help

Why is asking for help so difficult? It is because we perceive it as a sign of weakness? Does it make us seem needy or incompetent? Whatever it is, thinking you can go it alone will leave you struggling far longer than is necessary. This is an unproductive and highly stressful way to live. There is going to come a time when you are in dire need of help. Accept that reality and don’t be afraid to reach out to others when some assistance is needed. To build this muscle, start by asking for small favors. “Do you have a piece of gum?”

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7. Staying Young Forever

Bette Davis said it best: “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Age is a state of mind and youthfulness will lend a quality of life that will serve you as grow older. Extreme practices to maintain an appearance of youth are futile. You can’t stay young forever, at least not where the hands of time are concerned. Play for as long as you can play, but don’t try to defeat aging. Embrace it and live your life.

There is something to appreciate at every stage; what do like about your current age?

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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