The joy of missing a target?


This may sound counter-intuitive and it sure did to me when I first heard about it. The example that explained it finally for me was from a runner. This guy had a target of 3.30 for a marathon and he finished 3.33. I sent him a WhatsApp about how proud I am as well as heartbroken, thinking he may be upset by such a small miss. He seemed happy. We somehow met on the high street that weekend and he was not just happy, he was excited about his timing. I was confused.

‘Don’t you worry a bit about having missed your target with all that hard work?’, I asked.

‘I look at it as a greater reason to run again – if I had achieved my target, there was a chance to have become complacent. It did hurt for a moment that I missed my goal by a whisker. Now it doesn’t.’, he replied.

It took me a few moments to grasp it.

Many years ago, a friend heading a nursery got a rating of ‘Good’ from OfSted for the nursery. I personally knew how hard she worked since the last inspection and felt she would be devastated. On meeting her that evening, she was really happy! ‘Yes, it did hurt for a moment but now I know we can still go to ‘Outstanding’ from ‘Good’ – this is great!’, she said. I did not clearly get her point till I could relate it with the running too and many such examples made sense now, even in my own life.

I used to flip my thinking to something positive but did not expect the rest of the world to do so. It does make you feel powerful because you feel better than feeling sorry about missing your target.

“The ability to choose one thought over another is the most powerful ability our mind has.”

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