In essence, rooms at the top are unimaginably limited. There are many more of us who would like to be there than there are possible vacancies available.
But even if there were unlimited openings at the top, there is a basic limitation which limits us all: our skills and abilities. Few people have the innate intellectual or athletic ability to realistically set high academic or sports goals for themselves. Most of us don’t!
Most of us are “normal,” by definition. We live with average skills, talents, and abilities. Thus if we expect “super-normal” achievements for ourselves, we’re bound to meet with failure. It’s honestly recognizing these limitations that’s the key!
Let’s look at the line again; but this time we’ve marked a certain level of achievement with an “X”.
EASY MODERATE HARD
Here, we’ve set the “X” arbitrarily to indicate a particular person’s natural level of skill and ability. The “X” is not especially fixed for this individual. With experience and education is has a potential to be raised somewhat. But let us assume, that within a certain range, this “X” represents the limits of this particular person’s potential. Given this basic ability-level, our hypothetical person has all the ability he or she needs to achieve easy, and even moderate, goals with no difficulty at all. Yet goals set in the 7, 8, 9, or 10 range may not be within this individual’s ability to achieve. Using our previous examples, this particular person might do well in college, but not in graduate school. This person might get a college sports scholarship, but never be selected by a professional team. In other words, the “X” marks the spot where goals leave an achievable range and move into an unachievable range. Below the “X,” goals are within a person’s ability to achieve. Above the “X,” goals quickly become beyond one’s ability to achieve.
The trick, of course, is to recognize the reach of our abilities — and set our goals accordingly.
Let’s look at two more representations of this line of goals. This time, we’ll look at a happy individual compared to an unhappy one…