[TriLUG] OT: Education
shaneodonnell at gmail.com
Mon Sep 26 11:13:06 EDT 2005
Your success plan:
1) Decide you want to be at the top
2) Go be at the top
is a little oversimplified, don't you think?
I'm trying to make two points here:
1) You can't win the war (i.e., be "at the top") if you don't win
the battles (i.e., focus on achieving shorter term goals)
2) It might be OK to not be "at the top" (i.e., Life is a journey,
not a destination)
I'm not taking bets on what Jordan or Dell said or didn't say.
Frankly, I don't care. I've got plenty to work on/accomplish/enjoy
without worrying about it.
Companies publish mission statements to guide the company over the
longer term. Those mission statements then get deconstructed into
shorter terms goals/objectives, which in turn get deconstructed into
programs and projects that support them.
A company (and an individual) should take the same approach. While
your mission statement should have a relatively high trajectory (and
income may or may not be a part of that ultimate goal), there has to
be something in between, and in most cases, multiple "somethings" in
No, I didn't mean set your "mission statement" so low that you can
achieve it. I meant set your short-term targets low enough that you
can achieve them. And these targets should be a challenge, but should
NOT be unachievable. And if they are unachievable, you've got either
a problem with your short-term or long-term goals. We all start from
different places, and I would hope that people take that into
consideration. Michael Jordan and Helen Keller were both very
successful, but they had decidedly different missions.
And you have to be careful with terms like "best" which are very open
to definition. "Being one of the best" is a fair goal for
anyone/everyone to have, but it requires some parameters around it.
If "being one of the best" means being in the Top 10 wealthiest folks
in the US, then it's a sucker's bet and not for me--I'm no Warren
Buffett and if "Top 10" is the standard, neither is he, apparently...
However, if it means something else that's relevant, achievable, and
implies some personal happiness, sign me up.
I'm 37 and happy to say that there are many things I could change in
my life--just not too many that I actually would. Then again, maybe
that comes from having low expectations.
Shouldn't the definition of happiness come from the person trying to
And a guarantee on my not being in the Top 10 incomes in the US is a
pretty safe bet--I'd put money on it, anyway. Besides, I'd be
perfectly happy with a spot somewhere in the 11-10,000 range...
On 9/26/05, Mark Freeze <mfreeze at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'll bet you that Dell or Jordan didn't say things like "Set your goals
> lower so you can exceed them." and "I'll never be one of the best... I'll
> just do the best I can."
> I'm in no position to give advice to anyone. There are many, MANY things
> that I could do differently in my life. However I can tell you that if you
> think that aiming for the middle (which I meant as a joke) is a good life
> strategy you are sorely mistaken.
> Set your goals low so you can exceed them? Admit to yourself that you'll
> never, ever be one of the best? Not even close to the top - Big deal? I may
> not have all of the answers but Shane, I'll guarantee you this: If this is
> your attitude then you are right. You'll never be at the top.
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shaneodonnell at gmail.com
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