That wish you carry in your heart, that impact you seek to make in the world—yes, it might be an outrageous goal. Far out of your reach. Maybe you put much more on your plate than you can eat. But that’s a good thing.
That outsized goal, just go for it. It’ll propel you forward on those days and nights when you feel stuck. It’s alright if even you yourself don’t quite believe in it, if doubts get in the way at times, if it seems outlandish and preposterous to even commit to this goal.
Let’s say you want to write a bestseller. A book that tens of thousands of people enjoy reading.
Now you have your rational, reasonable, adult mind which tells you:
“Don’t be foolish. You’re not that good of a writer. You don’t know how all this works. You’ve never even written an entire book.”
That critical voice in your head is right of course. You’re probably not that good of a writer, and you don’t know what goes into publishing and promoting a book.
That’s a goal that’s out of your reach right now.
Just write something ONE person enjoys reading. At first, writing something that one person enjoys reading might take 100 attempts. You might have to write 100 posts on your blog, or 100 answers on Quora, or 100 articles on Medium, or 100 comments on reddit before you get one person to enjoy reading one of them.
But once you have that, getting a second person to enjoy something you wrote will be easier. And getting a third person to enjoy what you wrote will be even easier again. You get the idea.
Charlie Munger, of Berkshire Hathaway, said this about building wealth:
The first $100,000 is a bitch, but you gotta do it. I don’t care what you have to do – if it means walking everywhere and not eating anything that wasn’t purchased with a coupon, find a way to get your hands on $100,000. After that, you can ease off the gas a little bit.— Charlie Munger
With many big goals in life—whether it’s writing a bestseller, or making a million dollars, or getting in shape, or bringing high-quality education to underprivileged kids—getting to the first milestone is the hardest part.
Once you’ve hit that first milestone, things typically get a bit easier. You develop some momentum. You gain some experience. You begin to get good.
You want to write about writing, help others follow their own creative path? Well, why don’t you start with one person? Help one person write a little better. Help one person pursue their creative passion. Do it as good as you can.
Help them again, and again, as long as what you have to offer still is of value to them and helps them progress. Then help someone else. Repeat. Again and again, with one more person, and yet one more person, and so on.
You’ll build more and more momentum, and one of two things will happen:
- You figure out this is really what you love doing, and those little wins add up, and you get really good at it, you build momentum, and move closer to your original goal—yeah, the outrageously outsized goal that you set at the beginning.
- Or you figure out there’s really something else that you love doing, which you stumbled over in the process of pursuing that other goal, and then you start to see a new outrageously outsized goal at the horizon to pursue.
Either way, you win. But it takes continuous action. It takes persistent practice. And the best bet you have at sustaining that for a long period of time (because it will take years and years of dedication) is to have an outrageously outsized goal that seems so outlandish, you almost can’t believe that it’s possible, and yet can’t help feeling magnetically attracted to it.