When you set ‘bad goals’, everything feels entirely within arm’s reach. You need not stretch yourself to attain them.
Microsoft did this during Ballmer’s leadership when they optimized for the 20th century when the rest of the world had moved into the 21st.
When you set ‘good goals’, everything is slightly out of reach. You need to grow from where you are now to possibly reach them. And that creates fear: you might not make it.
If you choose the latter (I call them “Growth Challenges”) you get to decide where to focus: on growing to meet your goal, or on the fear associated with having made it:
- Fear: “I can’t reach it. It is unreachable to me. Is it even possible?”
- Growth: “What can I do next that could move me closer to my goal?”
How would you feel, what would you think about, and how would you act, if you supposed for a moment that your goal was entirely possible?