Almost nobody is as committed as they think to their goals. Sure, every business has goals; most of us have personal goals. But let’s be honest: we don’t take them as seriously as we could.
Let’s compare us to a crew of pirates. It’s generally accepted that pirate goals mostly revolved around finding treasure. They usually targeted ships carrying valuable goods or wealthy passengers. And cargo and passenger ships knew about pirates, and were usually prepared to put up a fight. Plenty of battles and sunken ships prove the pirates didn’t always win.
SMART goals were invented by pirates.
Did you know that? Of course! Seaworthy, Mindful-of-available-resources, Aarrr, Realistic, and Time-is-of-the-essence. Amazing, right? But more to the point, they were committed. Not “yeah, that’s on my to-do list” committed, but willing-to-put-everything-(including life)-on-the-line committed.
A pirate (ahem) spice merchant friend of mine told me that ships in the golden age of piracy, pirate or not, set sail with maybe a 65% chance of success. Yes, the odds were slightly in their favor, but that also meant 1 in 3 ships were never seen again. That’s kind of like going to work 2 days in a row and surviving to return home, and then realizing you probably won’t survive the third day.
Can you imagine the treasure that could inspire such effort and commitment?
More important, what would it take to defy those odds? Hardcore commitment to that kind of goal meant eating, sleeping, and breathing that goal, all day, every day. We almost never commit to goals at anywhere near a pirate level.
But what if we did?