Author’s Note: We continue our series on goal-setting for 2017 with this encore post on dreams and how to determine their scope. It’s easy to say that our goals should be achievable, but how do we decide what is achievable? Should our dreams be bigger than our current ability? Here’s hoping you are inspired to see more is possible than you may currently believe. – ACP
Aim higher. Dream bigger. Reach farther.
Each of these cliches are familiar to the artist. We are encouraged to strive for high goals and big achievements. Most would agree that those who are blessed with creative talent should make the most of it.
It’s also true that we creative artists sense an inner drive to achieve. But how far should your dream take you? Who decides what success is and what isn’t? Who are you accountable to?
God gave us a natural desire to achieve greatness, but he rarely tells us how far we should go. Even more astoundingly, he seems to defer to our definition of success.
We see this principle in the famous parable of the talents. In this story, three servants are given investments by the owner of the land. One receives five items, and decides to try and earn twice as much. He succeeds. So does the servant that receives two talents. The last servant makes no attempt to grow his gift. He assumes the owner didn’t expect an increase.
There was a logical reason for that assumption. The owner never told them how much he expected them to earn. The servants each determined for themselves what success should look like.
When the owner returned, the first two servants were congratulated – not simply because of the size of their increase. It was because they made the effort to grow their gift. The only servant that was punished was the one that lowered his expectations.
Like the owner in the this story, God doesn’t always tell us how high to set our goals. He will, however, reveal the areas in which we must grow in order to reach them.
The scariest part of setting high goals is knowing that you are ultimately responsible for them. It’s easier to set the bar low and ensure that you’ll hit it. But there’s no reward in trying to finish in last place.
If God has placed a dream inside of you, you can either shrink it or stretch it. It’s your choice.
My recommendation? Aim higher. Dream bigger. Reach farther.