Wednesday, October 7, 2009


For maximum self-esteem, confidence, and pride, it pays to aim high. Set your sights not just on what you want but what you dream.


Everyone who gets up in the morning has lots of little goals. Get something to eat, read the news, go to school or work, live through the day, and end the day with leisure time. It's all very normal, which is good.

In the course of the day, it involves other little goals, accomplishing particular projects, meeting people, trying to be efficient, avoiding germs, writing an email to your mother, updating your virus software, the daily iTunes update, and so forth.

But little goals is not the only thing in life. Although you can do quite well with little goals. You're a little person in a little world doing little things; all that is very fine. Still, there's something more out there that you can shoot for.

Have you climbed Mount Everest yet? I haven't either, and I'm not going to. I heard that they barely keep it heated and oxygenated up there, and one of my little goals that takes precedence is to breathe and stay more or less warm. But that would be a BIG GOAL. If you don't mind the super cold and having to carry air with you.

Of course not everyone's going to have the same BIG GOALS. My BIG GOALS are usually closer to home. I don't travel, I'm not wealthy, I'm getting old, I'm set in my ways, I'm afraid of lots of things. So I usually set my BIG GOALS as things that are right here close by. Like saying "I'm going to read this entire thick book before the end of the day." Of course I never actually get it accomplished, but that's just me. If I ever do get it read, it's like most people, maybe not as good as most people, I have to chip away at it over a week.

That doesn't mean I don't have BIG GOALS, just that I have issues getting them accomplished. I can look over at the stack of books next to my bed. Most of them have a bookmark at around Page 4 ... a few of them up in double digits. Because one day leads to another, and next thing you know my BIG GOALS have changed, depending on my moods.

Self-esteem, though, is obviously affected by having BIG GOALS, because you are dreaming of big possibilities for yourself. As far as you believe, you are ultimately not held back; you don't sense that you're being held back by anything but your own will. What's that old expression? Where there's a will, there's a way, I believe is how it goes. Well, let me nudge that. I'm not sure there's a way, precisely, but where there's a will, there's at least the momentary sense you get that it possibly could be done. And the bigger the better!

Some of my BIG GOALS, besides what I said, have included really big things. Like saying I wanted to get a Ph.D. before I was 40. Didn't happen. Then 50. Didn't happen. And now it's not even a realistic goal. But am I downhearted about that? Not really. Because look how optimistic I was at the time. It kept my confidence and pride at an all-time high.

Those days are past. But I have other BIG GOALS related to age, like the BIG GOAL of keeping my health and abilities long after other people my age are cancer-ridden or demented. I've always been a reasonably healthy person, so I'm not doing anything especially different than I ever did. But if I notice any signs of creeping crud, you can be sure I will swing into action.


If you want your self-esteem to be high, your confidence to be strong, and your pride to soar, set a few BIG GOALS today!

No comments: