You must be realistic and honest with yourself. If you set goals that you can’t possibly reach, you are setting yourself up for failure. You will make yourself frustrated and unhappy. The key here is a realistic and honest assessment of your potential. Although most people will be unnecessarily harsh in their assessments, it is easy to become too hopeful when you start breaking down barriers. If, for instance, you’re extremely interested in and fond of music and would love to be a singer, it would be unreasonable to set a singing career as your goal if you can’t sing a note (some talents are inborn).

But if you are knowledgeable about the music business and would be happy being involved in some other capacity, then it would be reasonable to pursue a career in the business. Be wary of making otherwise perfectly reasonable goals unattainable because of stringent time frames. When you set a goal, you will most likely set times for achieving certain steps along your way to achieving your final goal. Even if you don’t set the time frames formally, you will probably have a pretty good idea of how long you are giving yourself. It’s wise to sit down and formally set these goals. Think about it and give yourself reasonable time to achieve them.

Make a deal with yourself to view these time limits as flexible. Don’t get discouraged if things don’t work out as planned. Sometimes finding our place takes both time and error. All of us experience failures of one magnitude or another. The key is to view the failures as a learning experience – if nothing else, failures teach us what not to do. Remain flexible. As long as you keep focusing on your strengths and potential, the right thing will come along – and probably sooner rather than later. But don’t quit at the first sign of boredom. Even if you have truly found your niche, you will not feel enthusiastic 100 percent of the time. Don’t worry about others – don’t compare your progress with that of others.

No matter how successful you are, there will be someone else who, to you, looks like she’s got it made – who looks like she’s getting where you want to go faster and easier than you are. Maybe she is. Maybe she isn’t. Who cares? Focus on your own achievements. Work to develop your skills and talents to their full potential. Compete with yourself – your short term goals should be based on today’s accomplishments. If you have reached Point A today, make Point B your next objective – improve yourself and don’t worry about the other guy.

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