The 50% Rule & Other Thoughts On Moon Goals…

My last weekly e-mail was about the benefits of setting a big ‘moon’ type goal
I.e. one that will take years to accomplish, is not guaranteed but is very very exciting to the person/team pursuing it.

I often get asked from my experience, how do you know if you’re delusional?
i.e. how big do you go before you say, ‘that’s enough of that’?

Think of the x-factor contestant who can’t hold a tune but dreams of stardom.
We all know they’ll never get there but the penny hasn’t dropped for them….

Jedward anyone?  But look at what’s happened there.

Out of interest, the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics who had no engineering skills when they first started out trying to create a machine that would fly. Their friends thought they were delusional and actually tried to get them committed to a psychiatric hospital…

Marconi was considered a nutcase by many for believing that invisible radio waves could carry information from one place to another…

Everyone in Denzel Washington’s acting class laughed when he said he would one day win an Oscar…

Were these people deluded?

Here’s some of my thoughts on going for BIG goals:

1. It’s good for the mind to aim high.

It’s more exciting, it encourages innovation, it demands creativity where easy goals do not. The people who think big in our world are the ones who change it. A ‘moon’ type goal is vital to the long term growth of a person & also a company.
When done correctly it brings meaning where previously there was none.

2. Big goals grab hearts & minds.

When JFK set the goal of being the first country to ‘put a man on the moon before the decade is out.'(1960s), there was no guarantee they’d do it. But it focused the minds and hearts of over 500,000 people who were involved in the project. Big goals have a tendency to do that to people.  They also help attract and retain great talent.

3. To avoid delusion watch the feedback closely.

Just because others say you won’t get there means nothing. However if you are not getting any signals or results that you’re in the right direction then you do need to pay attention to that. Delusional people don’t watch the feedback. Achievers do – relentlessly.
I’m sure Edison was motivated by early mini successes when trying to invent the electric light bulb. If he was getting nowhere I don’t think he would have stuck withe the 10,000 attempts…

4. Use the 50% Rule when deciding if you should go for it.

If you believe that you have at least a 50% chance in success then go for it. No-one ever has a 100% belief (other than the delusional & the people who set easy goals). Mini wins along the way will grow your belief. If it’s less than 50% on starting you probably won’t have sufficient stomach to stay they course and persist when the inevitable trials and obstacles come. Greater than 50%, my suggestion is that you’re in the right zone. After that it’s about playing success in your mind, watching the feedback and going for it regardless.

I’ve seen too many clients & friends achieve the impossible, by someone else’s terms, to know that aiming high is one of the secrets to a great business, a great relationship, a great anything.  And most people in reality need just a dash of delusion, because their thinking is usually much too low i.e they only pick goals they know they’ll achieve.

5. Surround yourself with the best people but don’t always listen to them

If you work with the best, they will help you stay grounded, help you stay focused and help you keep it real.  But sometimes they may say you’re delusional when you’re not.  A client of mine just this week achieved something they’ve been working for over the past 2 years.

It’s very significant and to others was an impossible goal.   At the last hurdle one of their key advisors told them they needed to lower their expectations.  She refused to.  She asked me for my opinion.  I genuinely thought she’s achieved so much already that was previously impossible, she should stick to her guns.

She did.  And on Wednesday she achieved her goal. I guess one person’s delusion can be another person’s moon landing.

Food for thought…


New Jobs In Ireland

It crossed my mind recently that jobs lost seem to always get more
airPlay than jobs created.

So out of curiosity I did a scan to see
what jobs were created in Ireland in May.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Merit medical. Galway. 200 jobs.
Copper fasten technologies 37 jobs software

SAP- 250 jobs in Galway & Dublin
System dynamics Dublin 30

Cylon. Energy firm. 50 new jobs

Business search engine CASH IQ 45 new jobs

Semiconductor firm Zentrum. ZMDI. 35 new jobs

Laya healthcare cork 100 new jobs

IBM. 200 minimum new jobs

Apple based in Cork – 500 new jobs.

So without much digging that’s about 1247 new jobs.
Interesting. I know jobs are being lost but that’s the natural cycle in business.
Sometimes you’d be fooled into thinking there were no new jobs…..

And the above doesn’t allow for all of the new start ups on the horizon.

If you know of more please add them in the comments….

Interesting Lessons From The Week

I’ve spent all of this week on planes, trains and automobiles… (currently writing this blog on a train).

I’ve had a blend of speaking events, workshops and 1 to 1 coaching and it’s been very intense but very enjoyable.  Here’s some of the top topics clients have learned during the week:

1. If you’re not managing interruptions during your day, you’re inviting them.

2. If you can add 1 hour into your day focusing on the important stuff, you’ll add an extra 30 days of worthwhile work to your year.

3.If you don’t have a strategy to manage your mindset/mood, you’ll never have sustained high performance in business, sport or life.

4. Most people look after their phone’s charge more than their own charge… (fitness, mind, spirit)

5. If you get more work done out of the office, then why are you in the office?

6. When I work better, everything around me works better.

7. Business is a marathon.  So why am I treating it like a sprint?

8. When I think bigger, amazing stuff can happen…

Have a great June weekend.

Walt Disney

With the release of the new movie Snow White & The Huntsman, there are plenty
of reviews going around. One of the more interesting gives some focus on the original animation
movie created by Walt Disney & his team.

What I never knew was how important that movie was to the creation of the
Disney empire. It laid the foundation for everything that was to come.

Yet despite that it very nearly didn’t happen.

Disney’s quest for perfection meant that they had gone way over budget as they
broke new ground with the animation technology of the day.

It got so bad that both his wife & his brother tried to convince him to ditch the
project in order to save his fledgling studio company.

But he ignored them & went to his bank for support. He showed them some of the
scenes from the movie and explained why this project was so different.

They backed him and Snow White & The Seven Dwarves
went on to become the biggest movie of 1938.

But more than that, it provided the cash for his bigger plans.

Sometimes you just have to stick with your vision. And isn’t it lucky for the world
that he did.

Ireland’s happiness

I see Ireland’s first national happiness experiment is about to kick off. Similar projects have been run internationally with interesting results.

It runs over 6 weeks it’ll be interesting to see what it tells us about the national mood…

Then again I only care about my own mood/mindset…

If you want to take part in the experiment all you need to do is free text MOOD to 50123.