If you want to grow to greater heights in life, then you need to aim high. Only if you aim for the skies will you at least touch the roof, if you aim for something lower, then what you achieve will fall shorter than what you aim for. These are some of the sayings that are thrown at you. often the advice that is handed over to people is that they should remain positive and optimistic so that they can find the energy and verve to battle through life and make it to where they want to go.
On the other hand, people are also told to be realistic about their abilities and capabilities. Isn’t this all very confusing? On the one hand, we are told to aim high and remain positive and optimistic about what we want from life and on the other hand we are asked to be realistic about our abilities. We are sure, for most people this may seem confusing, but we will attempt to make it simple for you.
First of all, let us take the part where you are asked to be realistic about our abilities:
Imagine this, you are a thirty five year old woman who is of average height and looks. You have a pleasant face and not unattractive body. You are blessed with a sharp and incisive mind and you are a lawyer by profession. You are good at your work and your pleasant and friendly nature ensures that you have lots of friends and boyfriends. Your next goal in life is to marry your long-term boyfriend and start a family within the next two years. The firm you work with is supportive of you and is willing to give you time off for maternity, when required. Things are going well for you and you are happy with your lot in life.
However, somebody walks up to you and says that you should aim high and should become a model of lingerie. They go on to tell you that once you are able to achieve this, you will be able to have success, recognition and wealth. Nevertheless, just stop and think for a moment; is this what you are capable of? Is it realistic to think that you will become a lingerie model at the age of 35 when most models in this arena, would start modelling in their late teens or at least in their early twenties? What is more, your wish to get married and have a family will also have to be let go since pregnancy is likely to affect your career as a model. All this and also the loss of a successful career as a lawyer, one which you enjoy immensely. It is almost as if we are taking a fish out of water and asking it to master flying.
First of all you are qualified to be a lawyer and you are very good at that. Secondly you do not have any of the prerequisites to become a model like the height, the body, the age etc.. It is at this point of time that you need to balance optimism with realism and come up with a life goal that fits.
Suppose instead of aiming to be a lingerie model, you are asked to become a law school professor or aim to become a judge, and then this goal would not only be optimistic, positive but also be within the realm of realism. Of course, if the person who is asking you to suddenly give up your successful career as a lawyer to become a lingerie model has a sense of humor, then you too should laugh along with the person. After all, in this difficult life, having a sense of humor can be your biggest asset and can keep you going through tough times.
To answer the question that is being asked in the title of this article, the answer would have to be yes, we need to be realistic about our abilities to get ahead. This does not mean that you cannot aim high or be positive about the goals that you aim for or that you cannot be optimistic about the places you need to reach in your life.
The next time you start thinking about your life goals, whether they are personal or professional, be realistic. However, have realistic goals that have a touch of positivity about them. While you work on your realistic goals be sure to have an optimistic attitude so that you can achieve what you are aiming for. You will soon find that whatever you aimed for has become easy to achieve and soon you will be raising the bar towards better goals that you can achieve.