A read a book by Jim Collins about why some companies are great and others are not. In this book the author interviewed a a POW who spent 8 years in the "Hanoi Hilton" in Vietnam. This POW said the only thing that helped him survive was the belief that, in the end, he would make it home to his family. Mr. Collins then asked him "Who died at the camp?" and the POW stated "The Optimists." Mr. Collins found this to be contradictory since the POW always believed he was going to make it home. When pressed about this contradiction, the POW clarified it by stating "The Optimists" were those who set a time table for their release. They convinced themselves it would be Christmas, Easter or a child's birthday when they would be freed. When those artificial deadlines passed without freedom the optimists were mentally defeated. A defeat they never recovered from. You see, the POW was not optimistic about when he would make it home, he relied on the belief that he would make it home no matter how long it took. He survived by never wavering in this belief.
We are often told to set goals. If set correctly, goals should be bold enough that sometimes they are not achieved. This is okay. Set your goals high. Strive to achieve them. If you fall short, brush off the sorrow and rely on the belief that in the end you will succeed.
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