Many of us chase our dreams, strive to accomplish our goals, and climb the mountains that stand before us. It’s wonderful to have expectations, but it’s also important not to set those expectations so high that they are almost
impossible to achieve.

If you follow the market on Wall Street, you’ll notice many times the head of a company having a meeting with analysts to help guide them in projections for the coming quarter and year. The company executives take it very seriously on how the analysts perceive the future of their companies. Take a company like Microsoft…they usually beat their earnings number by at least three to four cents per share, but if you listen, each quarter Microsoft is notorious for “talking down” the expectations of the future. In doing so, the estimates are attainable. Another case in point was a recent interview with singer/songwriter Billy Joel on the CBS series “60 Minutes.” The interviewer asked Billy Joel, “Are you a happy man these days?” Billy replied, “I may not be totally happy, but there is an awful lot to be said for contentment…I feel I’m in a good place in my life.”

Many of us strive to be happy….but it’s so important to set realistic levels in our lives that are also attainable. I don’t feel that it is realistic to believe that I will receive EVERYTHING that my heart desires in this life. If I look at the top of a mountain, and I set out to reach it, I may be only able to go halfway….and when I reach the halfway point and look up, I may feel like a failure, but when I look down and see how far I’ve come, I can say “Oh boy!” Same thing applies with the worst case scenario. Some days everything seems to go wrong….but that night when you look back somewhere inside all of the turmoil appears a silver lining….a reason for why you went through that turmoil and what was learned. In our world today there is number one, while everyone else is a loser. That is an unacceptable premise to me…it is geared to failure. It’s just fine being number two, ten, or one hundred, because what those numbers also represent is some level of success. So somewhere inside the distance between one and a million sits many of us.

While you set your goals look to a level that is possible. Realize it all comes down to one step at a time, bit by bit, inch by inch. But those inches and bits all add up, and in that exists all possibilities. If you don’t accomplish all you want in life, but you do find success in quite a few endeavors, like Billy Joel, you may also say “I may not be totally happy, but there is an awful lot to be said for contentment…I feel I’m in a good place in my life.”

Enjoy the journey,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

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