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BBH Feature: The Unspoken Danger of Actually Achieving Your Goals

The Amazing Hired Hand’s One Problem

A farmer hired a man to work for him. He told him his first task would be to paint the barn and said it should take him about three days to complete. But the hired man was finished in one day.

The farmer set him to cutting wood, telling him it would require about 4 days. The hired man finished in a day and a half, to the farmer’s amazement.

The next task was to sort out a large pile of potatoes. He was to arrange them into three piles: seed potatoes, food for the hogs, and potatoes that were good enough to sell.

The farmer said it was a small job and shouldn’t take long at all.
At the end of the day the farmer came back and found the hired man had barely started.

“What’s the matter here?” the farmer asked. “I can work hard, but I can’t make decisions!” replied the hired man.

Will Your Future You Be Happy with You?

There’s a lot of action going on in a lot of our lives, but the fact is that many of us are like that man the farmer hired.

We’re going non-stop, but it’s really hard for us to make any actual decisions about what we’re dealing with on a daily basis.

And that’s a problem.

Not just for us TODAY, but also for our FUTURE selves. Why?

Because, if we really want to make this a different year, if we want to actually reach our goals and accomplish our New Year’s resolutions, then it’s going to take MORE THAN JUST us making decisions about what we’re dealing with today.

You going to have to make decisions NOW about the results you want to see LATER this year.

Robert Cialdini said this is his book Pre-Suasion 

Robert Cialdini - Influence Author

“Other voices have recognized the wisdom of undertaking prior action to secure subsequent success.” -Robert Cialdini

Then Cialdini quotes Sun Tzu, the famous Chinese general, military strategist, and philosopher who lived in ancient China …

“Every battle is won before it is fought.” – Sun Tzu

That’s why, if we are going to take prior action in order to secure success, if we’re going to win the battle before it’s fought, then we’re going to have to make decisions now about tomorrow.

That’s the reason you must have goals for this year.

But I have a WARNING for you about goals.

Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not a warning about NOT making goals or even not achieving them. 

It’s a warning about achieving them!

Read on and you’ll understand what I mean…

The Dark Side Of Goal Setting

Roy Riegels

Roy Riegels

In order to explain the danger of achieving your goals I need to tell you a story.

It’s a story that some call “the worst blunder in the history of college football“.

And this story contains a lesson for us all about a seldom discussed topic: the dark side of goal setting.


On New Year’s Day, 1929, Georgia Tech played the University of California in the Rose Bowl.

It was a typical game with no specific reason for it to be memorable.

That is until UC center, Roy Riegels, recovered a fumble for California.

After evading some of the Georgia Tech tacklers, he started running sixty-five yards.

But there was one problem: he was going in the wrong direction.

Worse yet, he didn’t even know it.

Luckily, just before Riegels was about to score for Georgia Tech, one of his own teammates tackled him landing on the one yard line.

How would you feel if that was you?

I’ll reveal Riegels’ reaction in a minute.

But first, I want you to realize something most of us overlook.

Your Amazing Superpower

We are amazing beings that live on an incredible planet.

Think about this.

We aren’t passive beings who just have things happen to us, we have the ability to be active and create the life we and others experience.

This means something pretty amazing that we often take for granted.

It means we can:

  • Choose a goal
  • Come up with a plan
  • Get the help of others
  • Persist and tweak the plans
  • And finally see our goals come into reality!

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

Many people who succeed and achieve a lot in life realize this ability and live their lives on purpose, with purpose.

The Dangerous Part of Setting Goals

But there’s a dark side that isn’t usually mentioned.

It’s this…

You CAN become and do almost anything you set your mind to!

  • That means you can achieve goals that will actually destroy you one day.
  • You can set goals that will fill your life with things but still leave you feeling empty.
  • You can accomplish things that can end up hurting others.

Let me say it this way…

You can become wealthy, powerful, famous, (fill-in-the-blank)… and STILL fail in life! 


Goal Discrimination

Don’t misunderstand me.

I’m NOT telling you not to set goals. Please DO! 

Please don’t just wait for things to happen.

Go for things you’re afraid you’ll fail at. Aim high!

But don’t be deceived into thinking, “If I succeed at all my goals, or what people say my goals should be, then I will have lived a successful life.”

That’s not true.

Let me tell you, what most people won’t.

It doesn’t just matter THAT you set goals this year. It matters WHAT goals you set.

You must be discerning and discriminating in your goal setting.

Choose them carefully and wisely.


Because you just might accomplish them.

And you might end up scoring the wrong touchdown.


Riegels’ Reaction

Now let’s get back to the UC/Georgia Tech game.

Are you wondering what Roy Riegels reaction was to making that embarrassing play?

Let me show you.

But more importantly, you’ll want to hear his coach’s reaction

They say that as half-time came to an end everyone but Riegels got up to leave the locker room.

He didn’t budge.

He reportedly said to his coach, “Coach, I can’t do it. I’ve ruined you, I’ve ruined myself, I’ve ruined the University of California. I couldn’t face that crowd to save my life.”

His coach replied, “Roy, get up and go back out there — the game is only half over.” 


If you’ve realized you’ve been running toward the wrong goal(s) in life or business, don’t give up.

Get up and get back in the game.

There’s still time to play!

P.S. If you are a business owner, and you enjoyed this blog post, then you might want to read my two other latest blog posts:

The Strangest Tug-of-War You’ve Ever Heard of Reveals How to Grow Your Business in 2017 

How to Make 2017 the Year You Gained Your “Unfair Advantage” (VIDEO)
About Scott Aughtmon (1798 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.

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