Challenging Yourself

I saw this posted on Twitter recently: “If you’re always right, you’re not learning. If you’re never failing, you’re not reaching. The objective is to be right. The objective is to succeed. But if you’re always winning, you’re undershooting your potential.” –@JamesClear

I found that to be a very interesting view, especially as I think about moving my career, life, business, or anything else forward. I think about this in terms of the goals I’ve set for myself each year for work, or each season of coaching. In the past, I’ve sometimes tried to pick those items that I think I can accomplish.

After all, it’s nice to check off everything at the end of the quarter/year and note I did everything I planned to do.

However, is that playing it safe? Since I know roughly what my workload is, how busy I expect to be, am I just picking things that aren’t pushing me to do better? Or perhaps more importantly, should I be optimistic, push, and if I fall short, examine reasons why. Life sometimes changes in unexpected ways, and I don’t always have control over what things might come up in my schedule across a year. Heck, I might not anticipate everything that comes up this week, or even today.

When I set my goals, I try to review these monthly and examine what I’ve done. Usually, across a year, I realize that some of my goals feel less important across time, or that they are such a low priority (nice-to-have’s) that other work or life constantly is more important. There also is the case that my mood changes and sometimes I just don’t want to do some things and keep procrastinating.

My life often looks different in May than it did in January. It looks even more different in November, and as I write this, I think back to the decisions I made in January. I can barely remember the why, which is probably another hole in how I challenge myself. I ought to set out a basis at the start to remind myself of the reasons for these goals when I look back periodically when I assess my progress.

I ask others to push themselves, so I ought to do more of that myself. Taking on a challenge is a good thing, and since life is more than work, I am looking forward to finding a better balance of challenging how I look to advance my career, as well as my personal life, and pick a variety of things that are both important to me, but are also in keeping with the spirit of balance. Time with my wife, hobbies, friends, and even myself are important as well. I don’t look to schedule those, but I do want to remember that while I want to challenge myself, I also need to balance that with living and enjoying my life.

Steve Jones

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About way0utwest

Editor, SQLServerCentral
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