A man hunting tigers in India was suddenly surprised by a huge Bengal tiger—by the time he saw the tiger, it was almost on top of him. The hunter raised his rifle and fired, but he overshot and missed. The tiger, surprised by the man, and thrown off his stride by the noise of the gunshot, leapt at the hunter. But the leap was too wide and too long, so he missed too.
The hunter returned to his camp and spent the rest of the day practicing his quick firing skills and short-range accuracy.
On the following day the hunter returned to stalking the tiger. Finally he spotted him. The tiger was out in the middle of an open field—practicing his short leaps.
Have you ever taken the time to sit down and make a list of everything you want? It’s an interesting exercise, and you’ll make some surprising discoveries.
If you ask most people why they get out of bed in the morning and slug away at their job, they’ll likely have to pause a few moments before they can give you an answer. And when they finally do give you a reason, it’s usually something along the lines of “To pay the mortgage” or “To put food on the table.” Answers like that are common. They’re also not very exciting. Which again, is what makes them common.
People who have no exciting reason for getting out of bed in the morning may be fine people, but they never seem to accomplish anything out of the ordinary. Unless you’re living in a cardboard box and starving to death, putting a roof over your head and food in your belly is not something you’re gonna get all worked up about. But the people who can get themselves all worked up about something, are the same ones who will likely get whatever they set their sights on.
Now here’s where the story of the tiger comes in. We should all have two kinds of goals—long-range goals and short-range goals. And if you ever take the time to sit down and list out what you want, it’s a good idea to make out two lists. One list should contain big goals—the things that relate to your overall success, your career, your life or your family. These are the kinds of goals that will us take five, ten, twenty years to realize, and should be listed in order of importance to us. These are the goals that give meaning and substance and direction to our lives. They are extremely worthwhile, and we should be working them every day.
But we also need other kinds of goals. Short range goals. These are the goals that add fun and excitement and interest and adventure to our lives, and break up the monotony of the long haul that’s necessary to attain our long-range goals.
If you’re honest about the things you really want—not bullshit passing fancies that change every day, but things you’re really serious about—you’ll soon find out that they are easy to get, and in a surprisingly short amount of time.
This works for big dreams, too. I have a friend whose dream it was to go from a weekend hobby business to a full-time venture. In just six years time, he went from struggling to pay his rent, to making over 30-grand a day, doing what he loves.
The truth is, people can have anything they want. The trouble is, that they don’t know what they want.
Get off by yourself for a quiet hour or two and make up your two lists. Once you’ve got your wants written down and listed in proper order— have at it. And don’t get discouraged about missing the target on your first shot. That means you need to hone your skills a little more. So just get out there… and start practicing your short leaps.