What’s the value of achieving a goal? If your goal is to walk across the road the answer is probably nothing.
But big, stretch goals are different.
Stretch goals challenge us. They pull us out of our comfort zone and scream at us like a sergeant major.
“Get your lazy arse out of bed and move! Now!”
They motivate us to do more.
Achieving a goal can feel amazing. That new car smell, the feel of leather seats, the admiring glances of other motorists.
Those things are great, but they’re not the true value of achieving a goal.
The true value of achieving goals can be learned from reading Jack and the Beanstalk.
Jack’s story is all about overcoming obstacles.
In the fable, Jack’s life was going along fine. One day the little tripper decides to climb a beanstalk. He knocks off some treasure from the man-eating giant who chases him down the beanstalk. But Jack’s too quick. Through a super human effort he chops down the beanstalk, kills the giant and saves himself and his family.
They all live happily ever after. The end.
Of course, Jack gets to be rich from all the loot he flogged from the giant so he gets to take care of his family. But the real win is his personal transformation. Now he’s the family provider and heroic protector.
He da man!
The story arc of Jack and the Beanstalk is repeated time and again in fables and fairy tales and stories told around kitchen tables and in books and movies.
Think about it. Forrest Gump, all the Rocky movies, The Da Vinci Code: they all use a similar story arc.
And guess what!
You’ll use the same story arc when you tell people about how you achieved a stretch goal.
It’ll go something like this: My life was going along fine, then I got a calling to achieve something great. At the start I was doing OK but then I was met with impossible obstacles. Just when I thought I’d made it I got knocked down again. And again. And again. But I persisted. After one last Herculean effort I succeeded.
I achieved my goal. I’m a winner!
And right there is the true value of achieving a big goal.
You see, achieving a goal is nothing in itself. What’s important – the real value – is the story that achieving a goal allows you to tell about your struggles to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
It’s that story from your past that shapes your present and your future. It’s a story that will help you shape a new you.
So what’s your Jack and the Beanstalk story?