March 25, 2014

How to Be Positively Realistic!

“Should a person’s reach really exceed his grasp?” – Robert Browning

What runs through your mind when you hear motivational slogans such as “believe it and achieve it” or “the sky’s the limit”? Are you inspired? Prodded in a positive direction? Spurred on?

When these sayings reach my ears, a big question mark pops into my mind. Then a second, skeptical question quickly scampers into view: If I fall short of a personal objective, does it always mean I’ve failed to give it my best shot? Could it be that the target was simply unrealistic? Perhaps it wasn’t my goal in the first place.

046_2368x2228_all-free-download.com_2884228I’m all for setting goals: There is certainly nothing wrong with lofty ambitions. But at some point, persistent banging of one’s head against a seemingly impenetrable wall simply hurts the head.

When setting goals, I want to expand my view and stretch my horizons without tearing myself down and wrecking my resolve for future challenges.

I can’t picture myself successfully walking a tightrope – even with a net – but that’s okay. Tightropes don’t interest me.

I may learn to ride a bicycle and enjoy it very much. I doubt if I can master a unicycle, and that’s okay, too.

Climbing? A mountain may have to wait; I’ll tackle the small hill for now. And if I decide to leave the mountain climbing to others, it’s no personal failure. I’m simply deciding on another kind of challenge for myself. 

My advice: Challenge yourself regularly to set and strive to reach your own goals. Give yourself permission to revise them as needed.  

Guest blogger Alan Flynn of Sacramento has cerebral palsy and grew up in a small farming community in the Midwest, the middle child in a family of five boys. He has two adult daughters and a new grandson. Through his writing, he hopes to challenge himself and others to reach new goals in every aspect of our lives and gain self-understanding and enthusiasm for the opportunities waiting for us. 


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