Recently, a friend of mine had this back and forth in an interview (for a publication, not a job)
Interviewer: What’s a goal of yours?
Friend: I really want to coach a middle or high school sports team one day.
Interviewer: No, what’s your big goal? Your audacious goal?
Friend: See, that’s the problem. People are asking about publically big and daring goals and discounting what might really matter to someone. We’re all expected to sell companies for billions of dollars, but I want to coach a high school team one day and that’s valid, no matter what anyone says.
Somewhere along the way, a big portion of our audacious goals became solely about money, external recognition and how we compared to those around us. Why? Because the route to external applauds is easier to understand than figuring out what it is we actually want for ourselves.
You don’t have to give a TED talk or go into low-earth orbit while fist-bumping Richard Branson to feel like you have a goal worth reaching. It all comes back to how deliberate you’re being with your choices. It can be you, your students, your local community, your writing, or whatever.
Living a relatively private life doesn’t mean you’re living in quiet desperation.
If it is mostly about the money and the fame, know that there are 12,000,000 millionaires in the world as of 2013. How many could you name if you wanted to waste all that time? 500? 1000? 5000? Whatever your modern trivia knowledge, chances are there will be millions of individuals you’ve never heard of who have reached the modern standard for financial wealth. How sad would it be if it pained them to know that we’ve never heard of them?
Money and public adoration must be the random byproduct and the result of something you do, it cannot be the reason you choose to do something. If it is, your wherewithal will wear away with all life brings.
A personal, big, hairy audacious goal is valid because you chose it, not because someone validated it.
Do what you do and know that most people will never know your name or know that you even existed. What will matter is if you go to bed at night with a clear conscience, if your colleagues/clients respect you and if the people you love, love you back.
The rest is bullshit.
Anyone have a big, hairy audacious goal they want to share that doesn’t include being on a magazine cover or having millions of dollars?