A few years ago, a friend of mine invited me to attend a conference with her. One of the main speakers was Les Brown. I had heard him speak before, but most of what I heard were sound bites from larger talks he had given. I listened as he described many of his life-changing moments. I was struck by his tenacity and his ability to tell his story from a place of strength.
Les said many powerful things that night but there was one quote that arrested my attention for several minutes and it still sticks with me today. He said, “Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.”
I think I stopped breathing for a moment as I thought to myself, how many times have I done this in my life? As my mind began to recall specific life events (it felt like an automatic reflex) I thought, Am I aiming too low? Who set this standard for me? Had I allowed someone else to determine my outcome? Is there room to aim higher?
As a natural-born interviewer, I had several more questions. Eventually, these questions made room for me to make one major commitment to myself. I vowed that I would never aim too low again! I could not change the past, but I embraced the power to aim higher, going forward.
Yeah, me vowing to aim higher is a real cute motivation but let me be very clear, this process was not easy. Aiming higher challenged me. Many times, I wanted to stay right where I was because aiming higher took a lot of work.
First of all, I was tired. I was still building a successful business, I had left a senior level role that used to be fulfilling, and worst of all, I was heartbroken because my beloved brother was killed in a violent accident that involved a rookie driver of a large tracker trailer truck. In a moment, my life as I knew it changed and it changed horrifically.
While I had many reasons to quit, the promise I made to myself to aim higher continued to ring loudly in my head and my heart. I had 2 choices. I could become a victim to my circumstances, or I could rise high above them. I very delicately decided to rise higher. Honestly, I knew I would see my big brother again in heaven and I didn’t want him telling me I “punked out.” That’s something he would say (chuckles).
While that was several years ago, I have had many moments since that time to settle for less but that doesn’t fit my DNA. I continue to challenge myself to do better, to be better and I challenge my clients to do the same. You see, I still believe Career Dreams Really Do Come True, but that would not be possible without making a decision — a vow to aim higher.
2020 has been a year unlike any other we have seen in recent history. Many people are canceling 2020 and waiting for 2021. The pandemic, deaths, protest, loss, hurricanes – Yes, this year is beyond challenging but I want to encourage you to aim higher.
DO NOT MISS YOUR MOMENT because it’s hard. There are so many opportunities to serve more people, to be the answer to a pressing problem, to make someone else’s day, and to change a life for the better.
There is still time to go get the career or business you want. There is still time to thrive in the area of life that scares you the most. There is still time for businesses and organizations to do the right thing because it’s right.
Do not let HARD make you quit. Here are 5 ways to keep aiming high:
- Remember you were created for greatness, not average and certainly not low-level living.
- If you are tired, rest for a while but do not stop.
- Keep going by agreeing to take baby steps. Aiming high doesn’t require you to make grand gestures. It requires your unwavering commitment and consistency.
- Maintain your focus by evaluating and improving your plan.
- Face your challenges head-on and take the necessary action steps to overcome them.
When you aim higher you set an expectation that opens the door for greatness to walk in and have a seat.
When you aim higher you serve on a level that is much bigger than yourself.
When you aim higher you will develop skills you never imagined you’d have or need.
When you aim higher you let the world know that you are NOT to be played with.
When you aim higher you will surprise yourself.
When you aim higher it will require you and the people around you to pick a side.
When you aim higher you can look back at your accomplishments and dare anything in your future to try and stop you.
Here’s To Your Success,