Aiming High From Way Below


There is a lot of truth to this quote just like many other quotes.  And just like many other quotes, it is easier said than done.  There are other factors that come into play when it comes to goal setting.  It would be great if you could just read a quote from some dead guy and apply it to your life.  You might have heard the saying, ‘You can choose to be happy.’  Maybe, but for how long?  It is obviously not that easy.  Maybe you have little power over your emotions but being able to set your goals high should be a different story.  So then how come so many people don’t try to achieve more?

Setting goals is a process just like any other process.  You have to have ice skates before you can learn to tie them.  You have to learn how to tie them before you can attempt to skate badly.  Once you learn how to skate decently then maybe you will think of trying to skate faster and then maybe you will want to learn how to power stop.

In life, some people start at level 1 and some people start at level 5.  When you start at level 5 it’s much easier to see level 8,9 or 10 and believe you can get there.  If you start at level 1, level 8,9,10 seems as unbelievable as being able to grow a third arm.  When you are at level 1, you think you can be happy for the rest of your life if you reach level 5.  When you start out at level 5, you don’t think you can happy forever staying at level 5 and definitely don’t want to go to 4 and under.

Then it will just take someone who starts out at level 1 longer to reach level 10, right?  Probably but most of the time it just won’t even happen.  Another factor in life is age.  Age is just a number but as the number goes up, it can take a toll on your mind and inner strength.  You get tired of fighting and you’re less optimistic and hopeful.

Another major factor is the people you have along side you in your developing years and after.  If they can inspire you and guide you then that will make all the difference.  If you’re stuck surrounded by people who inspire you that good enough is good enough then that might just be good enough.  If your parents are lawyers, doctors or are successful in their occupation then it’s not likely that you are going to decide to be an auto mechanic.  Plus if they are successful they have a decent idea how to teach you to be successful.  I guess if you’re afraid your girlfriend will dump you then that can motivate you as well.  “Okay Okay, I’ll do it.”

And of course, you will always have people tell you about some shoeless refugee who came from nothing but now has everything.  There is also that guy who has no arms but can play guitar with his toes better than most people with their hands but I think he’s the exception.  I’m not saying just because you came from not much that you can’t or shouldn’t shoot for the stars.  I’m just saying there’s more challenges. Challenges that people don’t seem to be aware of and don’t want to believe would impact the position they are in life if they had to face those hurdles themselves.

Perhaps always wanting more can be for egomaniacs but I think not wanting more too soon will often leave you feeling lifeless.


Daily Prompt: Successful


9 comments on “Aiming High From Way Below

  1. ntfcnicky says:

    I love this, obviously everyone has to work hard to get to where they want to be but when Mummy and Daddy can pay for extra tuition or extra help in whatever field you want to excel in it’s a hell of a lot easier to succeed.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Ya, just the thought of taking on a huge debt because of tuition can be a burden on the mind. It makes you second guess yourself all the time, wondering if you are doing the right thing but if it’s free then there’s a lot less to think about. Hell, even I went to college for a bit because the tuition was paid for and I’ve always hated school. I liked college better than high school though.

      So I guess the lack of fortunate circumstances needs to be compensated with extraordinary motivation in order to succeed greatly.


  2. I don’t think this quote is all that motivational. Yeah he was brilliant and probably right but he never meant for it to be made into a poster. And it conflicts with other quotes that preach being happy with what you have. It’s probably better that we continue to strive for something all our lives because it doesn’t seem healthy to say ‘OK that’s it, I’m done trying.’ (Seems lifeless, like your last line says.)

    Goal-setting and other self-help advice oversimplify the challenges, leaving these big unexplained blanks in getting from one level to the next. Sometimes the solutions they offer are so impractical they’re ridiculous. And these books must be outdated as soon as they’re published, because they can’t possibly take into account the ever-growing lack of resources (like jobs). Even rising one level is really hard for many people.

    All those factors you mention really do matter—upbringing, support, money, age—but also the genes you were born with. And levels are relative—sh*t happens and you can get knocked down a few levels in a heartbeat. Then it takes all this new goal-setting just to get back to where you were—if ever! People get tired and dispirited. Haha believe me I know.


    • MrJohnson says:

      Quotes can be prescribed to people like drugs. There’s something for everyone. If you messed up, here’s a quote to make you feel better. If you succeeded, here’s a quote to make you feel better. You could probably be correct in that the Michelangelo quote was not meant to be motivational. I find that quotes like these aren’t exactly inspiring because they usually mean nothing to you until after the war is done and the dust has settled. It’s not until then one really understands it.

      Ya, you never meet anyone in real life that says they got to where they are because of some book. You hear of really successful people saying that some book helped them after they made it though. I think most of us already know what we can or should be doing to make our lives better but we want a book to tell us an easier way out that guarantees results.

      It’s funny how you mention genes. I was listening to a radio program this morning and it was talking about how genetics has a significant influence on our personality traits.

      Getting knocked down a few levels is so easy. There’s a quote for that too! “It’s not how many times you get knocked down; it’s how many times you get back up.”


  3. voodoodarling says:

    This post basically contains everything I am thinking about at this point in my life. It makes me feel slightly better. Thanks.


  4. True George says:

    Don’t you just hate it when you start something new and someone does it with ease and you have a hard time. Well I’ve learned those who start at level 1 when they start something are more consistent and become experts surpassing those who start at level 5…..


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