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.
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.
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!
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?”
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?