We aim above the mark to hit the mark. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

We aim above the mark to hit the mark.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Setting the right goals is as critical to success as hard work and perseverance are. While there is nothing wrong with being ambitious with where we want to be in life, it is important to make sure our goals are reasonable.

Being reasonable with our dreams doesn’t mean limiting ourselves or not thinking big. It is more about reflecting on our current situation and on whether we have the means needed to get where we want to. Time is also a critical factor. It would hardly be a sensible goal to aim to finish a month-long project within a couple of days. However, a couple of weeks might be a more acceptable target. At the same time, one can keep honing their skills to bring down the time needed to complete similar tasks in the future.

It is important for our goals to force us out of our comfort zones. Doing something we are already qualified to wouldn’t be nearly as satisfying as pulling off a feat not many expected of us. That said, there is a fine line between stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping into the realm of fantasies. After all, our goals are supposed to be pointers to map our progress; they are not an end in themselves.

Archers are often taught to aim off the mark to hit the mark. This especially holds true for windy conditions, which are akin to the hardships that often threaten to throw us off course. A good archer is one who can adapt both his game and aim to the conditions. He needs to be confident – not rigid – with his technique. And this is something every person should incorporate into their goal-setting process.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, popularly known as Waldo, was an American philosopher and poet. Emerson is known to have said: “We aim above the mark to hit the mark.”