Only Audacious Challenges Are Worth the Effort

For a challenge to be worthwhile, it must be bold. It must be audacious. You have to risk very real failure for a goal to be worthwhile. 

In the past, I have set goals for myself that I know with almost complete certainty that I will complete. One example is Strava, my favorite means of tracking my activity stats. On Strava, you can set a mileage goal for the year in your profile. In 2017, I set a goal of 2,000 miles. While I hadn’t reached the 2,000 mile mark in the previous two years, I chose 2,000 miles because I knew that if I didn’t reach that amount of mileage, I had had a poor year. I knew from experience that in order to have a halfways decent year of mountain biking, I had to ride a minimum of 2,000 miles.

Despite spending the first two months of the year on downhill skis, overcoming a hip injury, and losing the final two months of the year to knee surgery, I still soared past that 2,000-mile “goal.”

The bar was set so low, that I easily accomplished it without even trying.

Some people see this as a good way to set goals. If the bar is easily surpassed, that gives you a feeling of success and you’re likely to go way above and beyond. While perhaps there is some merit to this, that only means that the sense of achievement when the low bar is reached eventually gets labeled as “not important.” You know that hitting the low bar is pointless, meaningless.

On the other hand, if you choose an audacious goal, a goal that you can and probably will fail at, but a goal that is worthy of giving every ounce of effort that you have to achieve it—such a goal is worthy of the effort that you expend. Such a goal can (and will) motivate you to achieve more than you ever thought possible. 

In short, such a goal is worth it. Easy goals are not.

Set an audacious goal this year, and see what you can do!

Day 27