One of my favorite vacation memories is of clamming in the Outer Banks. At the end of the afternoon, our goal was to have enough clams for dinner, which thrilled me. I observed everyone, tried out all of their techniques and worked tirelessly at it, despite being the only one to not dig up a clam in the first two hours.
Still, others were coming up with clams time and time again, so I knew they were out there…I just hadn’t figured out how I would uncover them. I kept digging.
By the end of the third hour, I’d perfected my own style. Floating over the sea grass, I pulled myself forward with my left hand while I twisted my right hand about 180 degrees in to the kelpie sand. I quickly became a clam queen and even better, as I set out to do, I contributed to dinner after all.
Even a fun experience like clamming reminded me of the benefits of setting goals upfront. My goal was to find dinner, by any means necessary. I started by trying to the mirror the techniques of everyone around me but had little success. Since it didn’t matter how I found the clams, only that I found them, I tried different ways until something worked.
It’s always helpful set goals and visualize them even if it’s a simple afternoon activity and especially if it’s to accomplish something that will be life changing. Without strategic goals, it’s easy to get lost in processes and the day-to-day rush. And don’t forget, failure and adaptability are important too. Visualize what you want to accomplish every day and be willing to make some mistakes–it means what you’re working for is important.
“Once we accept our limits, we go beyond them.” ― Albert Einstein