How great are high aspirations?
We tend to value people who have very big aspirations. It is easy enough to value someone who has high goals and the work ethic to achieve those goals. At the same time, I think that it is really important that its only great to have high goals when those goals can theoretically, at least, be achieved with your abilities, work ethic, and available resources. That being said if you have goals that exceed your present abilities then you have set yourself up for a great deal of cognitive pain and likely failure.
A Happy Medium
If you have attempted to accomplish something to no avail, then you likely understand that as the time between the setting of a goal and its completion grows long you tend to grow increasingly worn. Understanding this it is important to not shoot yourself in the foot at the very start of your endeavour. This is to say that you should not set yourself up for failure. You have to find the happy medium between an achievable goal and a reach.
Intrinsic v. Extrinsic Value
One of those axioms that most people hear at one point or another is that you should never never do anything or value something as a means to end, but rather you should value that act or thing in it of itself. It is basic Kantian theory. You should value things for their intrinsic value principally and to a lesser extent their extrinsic value. For me this is really statement that has its limitations. For instance let us say that you are someone who is currently in search of a job. For a while you have a great deal to learn. You can value interviews for the experience you gain. You can value work on your resume as an opportunity to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. You can also value the research you do as information you can put to your benefit in the future, among many other positives or intrinsic valuations. The fact remains though that the acceptance of an offer is what accomplishes the over-arching goal and at some point you will have exhausted all of the available intrinsic value. If you prepare all of the necessary preparations for a meal, but never cook it, then all of that intrinsic value present in the ingredients and prepared kitchen go unfulfilled because the extrinsic value that relates to the cooking of the meal goes unrealized.
The major takeaway here is that its important to find a happy medium when it comes goals or setting desired outcomes. You can save yourself a great deal of cognitive discomfort if you don’t set yourself up for failure through the implementation of grandiose goals and expectations. Their is a balanced intersection that exists between aspiration and feasibility that yields the best outcomes.