Right from the childhood, we push the child to aim high; we spice up the life by bringing in obstacles that the baby learns to overcome. When the challenge is not very enticing or compelling, one gives up. It has to be worth pursuing. The returns or the reward or the outcome has to be meaningful. All goals aren’t equally compelling : winning a benefits match isn’t as attractive as a world cup match; sprinting behind a prey is less attractive for a tiger who is not hungry. So, it helps if the challenge inspires the player.
And there is another dimension of the challenge – it’s about who is taking the challenge… some of us persevere while some give up easily. At the age of 32, Federer is hungry for the Grand Slams; Sachin trained hard each time he played even when he came for a domestic cricket match for Mumbai. It’s the person : what his mind thinks ‘right’. It’s about his beliefs and values : they are pretty deep down in one’s foundation. Reinforcement of these values over a long period of time can influence these. There isn’t a sure-fire quickie to alter this.
There is yet another dimension – it’s about the challenger and the situation. If the challenge is presented in a way that appeals to the player, the latent energies come alive; commitment gets aroused like never before. Think of the way Mahatma Gandhi rallied the nation or how Martin Luther King inspired the people … Their ideals appeared very meaningful to the people and the rest is history!
Goals have to be lofty. The leader has to know what motivates the troops. S/he has to find the links between the goals and the motivating factors. After this ground work, present the goals in such a way that the troops find it inspiring to chase the goals. Simple, isn’t it?