You may have heard the quote;

“If shoot for the moon, and miss,  at least you’ll be among the stars!”

There is another spin on it which says;

“If you shoot for the stars and miss, you’ll land on the moon”

The phrase’s implication is that if you set yourself a high enough goal, even if you don’t reach it, you may at least get somewhere. It assumes that it’s ok to have an unrealistically high goal.  Well, there’s a problem with that assumption , which I’m going to talk about in this post, because  it can seriously impede someone ultimately achieving what they want.

Houston we have a problem! – Choose where you’re headed

The fact of the matter is that you get what you focus on , what you’re aiming for is your target. So when you set your sights on something, that is your goal. If you start out with a half hearted attempt, saying to yourself “Oh it doesn’t matter if I don’t reach that goal, maybe I’ll at least get halfway “, then the halfway is your goal. That’s fine if it is, but it’s better to make it your objective in the first place. Otherwise it can leave you with a sense of disappointment , that you failed and didn’t accomplish what you set out to do.

Imagine if the Apollo 11 crew missed their goal of reaching the moon. I couldn’t imagine Neil Armstrong turning around to Buzz Aldrin and saying, “Well Buzz, at least we’re among the stars. Let’s relax and enjoy the view until we run out of oxygen and asphyxiate to death. Lucky us!”

The fact of the matter is, they had to do a lot of course correction on the way to the moon and Armstrong even had to eventually manually land the module. The goal however, remained the same, land on the moon. They weren’t distracted by anything else, they remained steadfast in their intention, this is what they had planned and practiced for.

If as long as you have the attitude of , “It’s ok if I don’t make that goal, at least I’ll get somewhere”, you are not committed. It’s one or the other.

Lost in space – clearly define your goals

It’s remarkable how many people don’t clearly define their goals, much less write them out. They say that people that do amount to 1% of the population. That’s an elite class to be in! Who wants to be “among the stars”, there are about 163 million of them in our galaxy alone, being among the stars is akin to being nowhere. How vague can you get? It’s like when people set a goal of “I want to be happy.” When? On Monday mornings? When your mother in law visits? 24/7? How will you know when you’ve truly achieved happiness?

When you decide on a goal, make sure you really want it, be clear about why, as that’s what you will fall back on when the going gets tough. Goals that don’t thrill you, won’t move you. I’m talking about moving into action, not moved emotionally, by the way. Also make sure it’s something you’re capable of, that you have the resources and skills required. Enthusiasm is great, but the momentum created quickly fizzles out if you don’t have clear purpose and direction. 

Ready for takeoff – the final checklist

Shoot for the moon by all means, but make sure you’re ready for the trip. That means;

  • You have a good reason to go there – You know why you’re doing it, it has meaning and purpose
  • You have enough fuel – do you have what it takes to achieve this goal? If not, time to reconfigure
  • You can set aside the time – there are other things in your life that will still need your attention
  • Your family are ok with it – see above. Do you have their backing? Will they also benefit from this?

I’d love to hear your comments about this, you can put them in the box below. If you want a more in depth look at how to set the right sort of goals and do more in less time, ask me about my free, 45 minute presentation on “How to Have the Best Year of Your Life”. You won’t regret it, I can assure you!

Enjoy your journey!



About David Mazzotti

David Mazzotti is a certified Life Coach and owner of Brighter Path. He is a "Life Transition Specialist" helping people navigate life transitions to create a life for themselves that is fulfilling, meaningful and fun