There's a flip side to setting ambitious goals for your life. It's one that the goal-setting and success gurus don't spend nearly enough time on...
You know how they say that if you can imagine a goal, and it really excites you, and you go after that goal, then the whole universe starts lining up to make it possible?
It's true... but...
Everyone who knows you and can't identify with your goal or the new direction you're trying to take your life in will rise up AGAINST YOU. Yes, there are exceptions but, generally speaking, when human beings - and expecially human beings living in "victim syndrome" - see you trying to rise above the pack, they're going to do everything possible to drag you back down.
They will mock you. They will conspire against you, start intrigues and try to get you into trouble with your boss, your family, with anyone they can. And when you "fail" - and you will fail, because we usually fail before we succeed - they'll be the first to say, "I told you so!"
This is pretty much a UNIVERSAL LAW.
It even happens in the most "spiritual" of places. One great Orthodox Christian holy man of the 20th century - a monk on Mount Athos in Greece - wrote something like, "Our spiritual struggles were difficult enough in themselves, but were made a hundred times worse by the mockery of other monks who didn't understand our way of life. So the very people who should have supported us most were the very ones who turned against us."
Yes, if you try to fly above the herd in ANY WAY, you WILL be attacked. Just remember the old saying that "just because you're not paranoid, it doesn't mean everyone isn't out to get you" ;-)
When I went into business and wrote The 5 Pillars of Life, I was viciously attacked by people in the Church. Only a few, of course, but the TREACHERY was unreal - going behind my back to try to turn Church authorities against me, trying to isolate and marginalize me. And then there were all the comments about the evils of business and money.
You should read Michael Jordan's bio someday - he was determined to be a great professional basketball player yet nearly everyone he knew became an obstacle. They mocked him, they didn't believe in him, they told him he was wasting his time. I wonder if any of those losers woke up in the end.
So the bottom line is this...
Before you dedicate yourself to those ambitious goals of yours, no matter what those goals are, you need to develop a VERY THICK SKIN. You actually need to PRACTICE not caring what other people think or say. And that's especially true if you're a sensitive person and have been conditioned to seek peer approval.
Yes, PRACTICE it. It doesn't come naturally to most of us. You need to develop a special kind of RESILIENCE, and it only comes with practice.
The price of success is the willingness to persevere and to TOTALLY DISREGARD what everybody else thinks.
Now I know I'll get people responding to this saying that if you don't listen to other people's advice, how can you expect to be successful. Or that it's "arrogant" not to listen to others and think you know better. Of course, it should be obvious to anyone with two brain cells to rub together that's not what I'm talking about here.
Yes, you need to stay humble and listen to whatever qualified advice you can get. You also need to be SO SURE AND SO FOCUSED on your goal that you'll be able to persevere when everyone around you is trying to stop you.
In other words, you need to train yourself to become mentally and emotionally TOUGH. I know it sounds indelicate, insensitive and not politically correct. However, it's the plain truth for anyone willing to listen. And if you've tried to fly high in any area of your life before, you KNOW this to be true already.
~ Dr. Symeon Rodger