Why goals fail

why goals fail

Do you know why goals fail? I have listened carefully to dozens of people tell me why they have not been successful. I have failed more often than I’ve succeeded myself but I’m fortunate to have some victories too.

I used to be a police officer, which is a job where I learned to expect the unexpected. Imagine being sent to arrest someone at their house. Would they stay? Would they run? Would they fight?

In each case, our training had prepared us for a range of scenarios. We had repeated drills, as part of our training, in case we would find ourselves confronted with a life threatening situation. We had standard procedures for those who were cooperative too but that was rarely the case.

Soon I learned business was no different. Perhaps not as dangerous or life threatening as my previous role as a police officer. My point is, there are so many moving parts inside and outside a business. Competitors, governments, regulators, economies and industries are always changing. They are mostly fluid and unpredictable.

In business, as in life, things will change. Things might go wrong or not according to plan.

Why do goals fail? Most goals fail because the person or organisation pursuing them wasn’t prepared for what was coming. I know that seems like an obvious point but I still see people set goals as if nothing could go wrong.

I hear so many people set goals with a positive mind set. Don’t get me wrong. Positivity helps. But if you truly believe nothing can possibly go wrong, how can you be ready for it when it does?

In blunt terms, what are you going to do when the shit hits the fan? If your goal is big enough, you are going to be challenged. If you try hard enough, you might even fail. Failure is a learning experience, not an end point.

Next time you’re setting some goals, write down all of the things that could possibly go wrong. Choose the problems that are most likely and write down how you might avoid them. Write down your worst case scenario for each and how you might minimise the damage.

I think Bruce Lee said it best when he said, “Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

Anything worth doing in life will be hard. In my experience that’s the way life is. My question is, what will you do when things get tough? Don’t give up.

Nothing great ever comes easy. Great things come when you overcome adveristy.

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