How’s Your Aim?

Aim for your goalsSt. Thomas Aquinas said, “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” Now there’s a thought about fearless focus if there ever were one!

What are you focused on for next year? Maintaining status quo? Moving to the next level in your career? Making a full on “quantum leap” in some area of your life? The point of this quote is that taking risks is a key requirement for change on any level. When people are only motivated to not lose ground or to just hold on to what they have, you will routinely hear things like:

“I’m just focusing on not losing this job”
“It’s enough right now to just get the rent paid – that’s what I’m focused on”
“That’s a nice thought but today I’m just trying to make it through another week.”

One of the things that archers, basketball players and golfers all know is that if you aim short – you will come up short. You may actually be on the right target line but it might take you 8 shots to reach the target….or the basket….or the green. While there is a place for a strategy to “get there” in incremental steps, a lot can happen in 8 shots. Not the least of which is the fans….or life for that matter… will move on without you.

So one thing to consider is the importance of keeping an eye on the “long target” with the mental intention of actually reaching it. This is not only key in keeping motivation alive for us, it is critical in effectively coaching our clients. Yes. There may be many steps to reach the end of that training program, or to get a criminal record cleaned up so a job can happen, or to get that small business loan. It’s a lot of work. But think about it – what’s actually more motivating? “Making it through another week alive” or opening the doors to your own business 6 months from now?

If the answer is really focused on the larger dream, then we have to start get those “small ball” ideas and their companion language out of our minds. More people have succeeded by thinking big and failing than by thinking small and staying safe. This doesn’t mean you throw caution to the wind and start making irrational and emotional decisions while risking everything you’ve got. That would be like an archer shutting his eyes, spinning around in circles, then firing his arrow blindly hoping by some miracle it finds the target. That’s just crazy. Instead, archers focus and they hone their skills through steady purpose driven practice so that their concentration, aim and mental toughness improve. Only then does hitting the target start to happen consistently. Only then does winning start to happen routinely.

Every day we see people aiming short because they don’t have the confidence to see a bigger goal. Bigger goals drive more motivation and if we are not supporting our clients in thinking beyond survival, then we are feeding a mentality that will keep them crippled with dependence.

If we can start coaching and supporting our clients with these new insights, we will begin to see changes that we may not have believed were possible. Building coaching skills to help people in the helping professions is the key to driving lasting results. To find out more about how we can help you do this, check out our website at

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