Goals inspire us to achieve the unthinkable

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Remi Kohno

Jumping during a sunrise hike at the top of Koko Head.

Remi Kohno set a goal to hike Koko Head every single day for a month as a way to be physically active. For 30 days she accepted this challenge, while others deemed it as crazy and tiresome. Through rain, shine and one twisted ankle, she completed the challenge and accomplished her goal.

“I think that it instills and brings out a determination that you have in yourself in order to complete something,” said Kohno, a graduating senior and Communications Marketing major. “Even though you have other things you need to do, you still find that perseverance and determination to see it through the end.”

Whether it’s a small tasks such as eating healthier or bigger objectives such as getting up every day to hike 1,048 steps, goals help us achieve tasks that we set for ourselves as well as make us accountable for accomplishing those challenges.

Goals inspire people to achieve the unthinkable. We find inspiration when we see other people succeeding in life, which makes us want to succeed too.

Diana Nyad, 60-year-old athlete, became the first long-distance swimmer to make her way from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. Although we do not need to swim into shark infested waters in order to accomplish a goal, the fact that Nyad was able to achieve her mission has inspired and motivated people all over the world. 

“It was deep in my soul,” said Nyad in a TED Talk titled “Never, Ever Give Up.” “When I turned 60 it wasn’t so much about the athletic accomplishment, it wasn’t the ego of ‘I want to be the first.’ … But it was deeper. What are we going to do as we go forward to have no regrets looking back? … And so of course I want to make it across. It is the goal, and I should be so shallow to say that this year, the destination was even sweeter than the journey.”

One of the most important lessons learned from setting goals is experiencing failure. The truth is that not all goals we set for ourselves are accomplishable, at least not at one time. This was true for Nyad who attempted her goal four other times before successfully accomplishing it on the fifth try.

Gaining weight has been a personal challenge of mine. Along with the weight gain came low self-esteem and confidence issues. I would set myself up for failure by setting unrealistic goals such as losing a ridiculous amount of weight in an unreasonable period of time. In result, I would become disappointed by the fact that I failed to accomplish my objective.

Failure is a learning experience that teaches us to either give up or keep moving forward. That is why it is important to be realistic while setting goals, and the best way to do that is to start small.

Small realistic objectives such as cutting certain foods from my diet, walking to school, and learning to do one pull-up has helped me achieve a bigger mission of mine, which is to be physically fit and healthy. Although I am nowhere near the body I want, I am much stronger than I was before both physically and mentally. 

Sometimes the most important part of a goal is not the goal itself but the fact that we have the ability to accomplish what it is we set our minds to. Ultimately that is what gives us purpose, meaning, and the ability to achieve the life that we want to live.

We learn about ourselves through the goals that we set. When we are faced with adversity and obstacles that is when we really dig deep to find our true potential. Often times we are surprised by what we can achieve when we really push ourselves to the limits.

 Sylvester Stallone said it best in the film “Rocky Balboa” stating that, “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”