"When people go through life they don't hit the target. And the reason for that often is they don't specify the target. They are afraid to allow themselves to know what they want because that also sets up conditions of failure. So they shrink from it. But I can tell you one thing that I've learned as a clinical psychologist: 'You do not hit a target you don't aim for.' "
"You conceive yourself in terms of distance to the target. But if the distance is too great and it crushes you then you have to set a closer target. It should be challenging and meaningful, like you can tell when you set up the target properly, because it's challenging and meaningful but it doesn't overwhelm you with anxiety. And so you can calibrate it. If your're too anxious then you move the target closer and you make it easier to hit. You don't want to make it so easy to hit that anyone idiot can do without any change and effort because then there is no growth. But you want to set up the target so that you have a pretty decent chance of hitting it but it stretches you a little bit beyond from where you are now."
[See also: Reasons for Failure, Goals and Conditions for Failure]