Why setting 'unrealistic' goals is realistic
"Aim for the sky and you might reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you'll hit the floor" - Bill Shankly
"Isn't that exhausting, unhealthy, stressful? You're never gonna make it!" That's what most people will tell you when you bring up your 'unrealistic', 'unreachable' goals... For me it's quite the opposite, these 'unrealistic' goals are my driver, my source of energy and my main motivator.
I'm 20 years old, Dropped out of High-School six years ago (or middle school depending on what part of the world you're from), I am by many perceived as "A naive young kid who doesn't know how the world works." And my dream is to start my own company in New York City. Many would say that's impossible. And they might be right. But having a goal so far away is the only reason I wake up every day.
My even more unrealistic goal is to move to a penthouse in 432 Park Avenue NYC (This building is a pure metaphor so bare with me here). To give you an idea of why this is such a big deal, the penthouses are sold for $80,000,000 and up... Now, I don't care about that price tag, or the status that comes with living in such a place. In fact, I don't even think I really want to make it to this building. Let me explain.
432 is huge! It's 426 Meters high, it's the highest residential tower in North-America and you can see it from pretty much anywhere in the city, and every time I see it, I think about the people in who live in this building right now. I imagine them looking down at the city and not even knowing or worrying about my existence. I'm a nobody, and no one gives a fuck about me... Somehow this thought motivates the shit out of me, and it's the only thing that keeps me moving.
It's a fine line between feeling this need to prove yourself, or just wanting to know how far you can get in this life. I would describe my way of life with that second statement. I want to know what places I can reach (metaphorically, what floor I can get too in 432). I want to know what my boundaries are, and where I'll 'peak' in life.
Clarifying your path
As I just established, my real goals and aspirations are very far away. Years, maybe even decades... So what to do in the meantime? I'm so far away that my goal isn't the next step, it's not the 5th or the 10th or the 40th step (or floor) , so how do I insure that I'm moving closer and not further away? How do I navigate through all the opportunities that come my way?
My mind works in a very practical, logical way, so for me there has to be a 'reason' too everything I do. Which is why it's sometimes hard for me to stay openminded about things I know less about. One trick that really helps me in this process of determining what to do and what not to do is not to ask the question "Why should I do this?" but to ask "Why should I NOT do this?" I 'measure' all opportunities that come my way, or the once I seek myself, to these few basic questions:
"Is this opportunity something I like to do on a daily bases?"
"Is this opportunity helping me in the short or long-term?"
"Am I gonna learn new things by taking this opportunity?"
"Am I gonna meet people I respect and look up to?"
I guess you could call these values. It's impossible to see where your path lays. Especially when you're doing things the non-traditional way, like me ;). Establishing your basic values and trusting the process, or yourself, or god, or the universe, whatever it is, will bring you closer to your goals, even if you don't see the connection right away.
Happiness is not achieved by reaching these massive goals, it's achieved by finding a way to enjoy the journey towards it. "I honestly hope I never fully reach my goal, because, what am I supposed to do then?" I'm not sitting here, hoping someone in New York will notice me, and sponsor me a visa, and pay me millions of dollars... It's just not gonna happen. I've honestly had that mindset before, and it made me depressed and demotivated while all this opportunity was still out there. But then finding that trust and perspective on the time it will take to reach these places, really gives me peace of mind.
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” - Marianne Williamson
About Louis De Keyser
Louis is a 20 year old, in the process of moving from Belgium to his dream city, New York. He was the founder and CEO of Tiny House Belgium, a Tiny House Design and Construction company that focused on promoting the idea of 'smaller living' and 'living life without a mortgage'. He sold his business in January 2017 to pursue his dream of moving to North-America. Right now, Louis lives in Toronto Canada. Stay up-to-date by signing up to my Messenger List!