Great goals make you stretch, not snap.

You must stay focused on your goals above all else. Truly dedicated individuals won’t let anything interfere with attaining their goals. that’s why so few people become champions. It’s not easy.

The late Red Auerback, famed Boston Celtics coach, was one of the most successful basketball coaches in history. He believed that the basic principles for success were the same in business as athletics. At the top of his list was setting goals.

Good teams always have common goals. When you find that goals of certain members differ from the team’s, then the team will usually not do well. That’s why teams with outstanding individual talents sometimes do poorly, while others are able to blend average abilities into championships.

I witnessed this firsthand at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, when the huge underdog Lithuanian basketball team took the U.S. Dream Team to the final seconds before losing.

Goals give you more than a reason to get up in the morning; they are an incentive to keep you going all day. Goals tend to tap the deeper resources and draw the best out of life. Achieving goals is a significant accomplishment.

Most importantly, goals need to be realistic: beyond your immediate grasp but within your reach in the foreseeable future. 

I remember a particular Peanuts cartoon in which Charlie Brown is having a bad day…


Baseball is a game rich in wisdom. Look at all the specialists; designated hitters, set-up relief pitchers, closers, and on and on.

The lesson is clear. Want to excel in life? Master what you do, and, for sure, master one thing at a time.

Mackay’s Moral: You have to get to the plate before you can hit one out of the park. 

About the author Harvey Mackay

Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.

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