“The biggest secret in life is that there is no secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”
~Oprah Winfrey

Have you ever looked towards the goal that was set for your team (or your division, or yourself) and known, for sure, that there was no way to reach it? There are few things as demotivating as a goal that is too much of a stretch, that is too impossible to reach. “Why even try?” we think, as we refuse to get started. “There’s no chance of success,” we bemoan. “Why bother?”

Oprah seems to think there’s a reason to bother…and when I question her perspective, I think to the details I know of her life. Her huge success, and the outrageous impact she has on so many people’s lives, must have seemed an unattainable goal at one point. I’ve heard people use her success as a barometer – “I want to be as rich and influential as Oprah,” they say. And yet, years ago, she might have chosen to be demotivated by setting goals to accomplish all that she has.

The most successful leaders take a stance similar to Oprah’s. They look to their goals, set their sights, and then do the necessary work. They carefully assess their team’s situation and do what needs to be done to support their team members, so that then their team members can do the necessary work. Their attitude and their actions reveal their belief that they can achieve the goals set before them, if they’re willing to work.

Use your demotivation as a catalyst for you – determine the goals you want to reach, no matter how unattainable they may seem, then plan out what you need to do to get there…and do it.

Where have you given up on a goal too quickly? What’s the work that’s required of you, and how can you do it?
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