There are two competing views - one is that it is better for me to make modest goals and attempts - and hit the target, than to aim high - and miss. I see some merit in both. If I aim low and hit the target, I gain a sense of accomplishment that can build my confidence. If I am high, I could miss, resulting in failure.
I tend to be more of an "Aim High & Crash & Burn" kind of person. I fail often, sometimes gloriously. I don't have much use for the "Aim Low" theory. Here's why:
If I set a goal that I am going to achieve 90% of whatever I am tasked with, and only achieve 75%, by definition I have failed.
Yet if I set a goal of 50% and achieve it, by definition I have succeeded. But what about that extra 25%? Doesn't that count for something? Shouldn't the fact that I went big and got the extra 25% build more confidence than attaining a smaller goal? My cynical side comes out and says to myself "So you set a wimpy goal and achieved it? Whoop-dee-doo!" I know when I am just phoning it in, and success as an artifice builds no real self-worth.
So, as I am thinking through this stuff this week, my Facebook friend Judi Bona pops up with this quote:
"One of the evils of the world today is not failure but low aim"
President N. Eldon Tanner
I liked it enough that I made a picture of it so all you Pinterest people can do whatever it is you do with things like this.
here - great talk by Elder Derek Cuthbert) I found the poem that may have engendered the idea:
It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled.
But it is a calamity not to dream.
It is not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideal,
But it is a disaster to have no ideal to capture.
It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars.
But it is a disgrace not to have stars to reach for.
Not failure, but low aim is a sin.
Dr Benjamin Elijah Mays -- 1894-1984
A sin? That is even stronger than a "failure". But it is a nice poem, and gives some justification to my "aim high" strategy, but it is really tough to stay motivated and not get complacent. It is tiring, but necessary. Over the next couple of days, I will post a few more ideas along these lines.
My goal for today is to figure out how I would normally spend my Sabbath, and challenge myself to "do a little more, to be a little better." Because that is more fun and fulfilling anyway, isn't it?