Aiming beyond the Achievable?

Aiming beyond the Achievable?

Aim Higher by _elvin (Creative Commons)

We’re often told – I heard it again recently – that to succeed we need to aim for something bigger, greater, further, higher than we think we can achieve. If I aim to write for 5 minutes today, I might do a bit more, but basically that’s the area of time I’ll likely reach. If, however, I set myself a challenge of writing for two hours – or of writing 2,000 words – I might not reach that goal, but I’ll get a lot more than 5 minutes done.

I understand the psychological point that is being made, and it probably does work for many people, but doesn’t it mean that with each achievement you think ‘but I was hoping for something better?’ Doesn’t it always leave you disappointed?

I want to aim high, to reach for the very best I can be, but if my focus is on stretching myself, maybe I’ll miss the good that God actually wants me to do – the achievable that makes a real and immediate difference to people’s lives, not the amazing that will bring greater glory only to me.

It’s a tricky balance, I think. How do you negotiate it? I’d love to know your thoughts and experience.


This post forms part of Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday, where we write on a prompt for five minutes only, with no editing. Why not go and see how others have interpreted today’s prompt – then have a go yourself! What have you got to lose? Put a link to your post in the comments, and I’ll read it and leave a comment in return.

14 Comments On This Topic
  1. richelle
    on Jul 27th at 10:08 am

    I’d always heard it said: “Aim for the moon and you might hit a light pole.” But I think you are right. It is a balance. Maybe those long term goals should be high and lofty and the directions we feel God leading/pulling/pushing us. But the daily goals, while also being God initiated and God directed should be the little by little, inch by inch practical and readily achievable increments that move us the way the Lord is leading.

    Sounds simple and straight forward written like that. Practicing that little bit of preaching? Not so much so.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for a thought provoking post today!

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Aug 7th at 10:26 pm

      Thanks Richelle, really sorry for the late reply, somehow your post ended up in the spam box – no idea why! Great idea for balance – hows the practicing what you preach coming along?!

      I know when I’ve got a million things to do, writing them all down and taking one at a time (and ticking them off as I do them!) makes a huge difference, suddenly the goal is broken into manageable chunks – and you at least get a sense of progress if nothing else!

      Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Denise
    on Jul 27th at 10:49 am

    Good post.

  3. Student Mom (Jenn)
    on Jul 27th at 2:19 pm

    Yeah. I feel similarly.

  4. Alisa Russell
    on Jul 27th at 3:20 pm

    Interesting thoughts. I am in the middle of planning this year’s homeschool schedule. For the first time, also, I want to plan specific time to write. I told my husband that since it was predictable that my writing time would be interrupted during the day with my kids needing to ask questions, I needed to make sure I had uninterrupted time–whether that means getting up earlier or going to a coffee shop a couple of days a week. Not sure how it will all work yet, but I am going to keep the mental mindset that every bit of writing I do is an acheivement, or at least try to. 🙂

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Jul 27th at 3:22 pm

      Brilliant – good for you!! I think part of the battle is aiming high but not getting too down on yourself if you ‘fail’ – or miss the occasional day etc.

      Like I say, it is really tricky, though!

  5. Barbie
    on Jul 27th at 3:50 pm

    Great wisdom here. I often find when I try to plan ahead with big goals, I fail. And it’s because I try to do it on my own. I like the smaller achievable goals! Visiting from the 5 Minute Friday!

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Jul 27th at 3:57 pm

      Thanks Barbie! I appreciate the encouragement. Nice to ‘meet’ you!

  6. Sunshine
    on Jul 27th at 4:28 pm

    learning to balance sometimes takes us way beyond what we dreamed possible…great 5 minutes. 🙂

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Jul 27th at 4:31 pm

      Nice thought! I love that – very profound… Thanks for stopping by.

  7. wynnegraceappears
    on Jul 27th at 6:01 pm

    Visiting from Lisa-Jo’s. Great thought-provoking piece on beyond. Its nice to meet you and to be stretched a bit. Its so fascinating to read all the different takes on beyond. So glad to have had some moments over here. Hoping to see you again at Lisa Jo’s place. Thank you for sharing your words with me.

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Jul 27th at 6:35 pm

      Thanks so much! Yes, it’s great to see the variety that one word can spark!

      Thanks so much for stopping by – and taking the time to comment. 🙂


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