Skip to main content

Time to Aim Lower

| March 3, 2009

by Jim Bruce

For today’s Tuesday Reading, we turn to Dan and Chip Heath’s Made to Stick column in Fast Company for a piece about goals:  “Time to Aim Lower”.

In this piece the focus is on those ambitious goals that we often set for ourselves.  Sometimes these goals, instead of energizing and empowering the goal-setter, do just the opposite.  We dread getting started.  We may feel overwhelmed.  We may feel that we’ll fail or succeed (and not like the result).  And, the list goes on.

The reading today argues that instead of focusing on the big, audacious goal you should divide the goal into much smaller “whisker” goals where the dread of working on the goal is much smaller than the actual work to do the “whisker” goal.  The principle of “divide and conquer” is what we do when we have a large project, it’s what we do when we ask you (or asked the alumni) to develop action steps for your ITLP Goals, and its what we recommend when we suggest that when you are working on a task/priority/project over some period of time, you always end a work session by identifying the next thing to do.

The Heaths’ advice is sound even if delivered via unusual examples.  Think about it.


Have a great week.  .  .  .     jim