Why shoot for the Moon when Milton Keynes will do just as well
I once enjoyed a talk from Stuart Moore, the co-founder of Sapient. It was a talk about, among other things, aspirations. It was only to half a dozen people or so, and was fluid and interactive.
In it, he drew up a chart on a whiteboard, asking whether should aim high or aim realistically. I responded, taking something of a devil’s advocate stance, that in some instances you should aim realistically. (Remember, this is a man worth nine, possibly ten digit dollars, excluding decimals.)
I gave my reasoning. In some instances, if you believe too much in your own hype, then that rosy view view will cloud your perspective, and you may remortgage your house a few times to chase what amounts to a dud business idea. In that instance, it would be much better to chase reality, and if you failed, you wouldn’t have lost quite so much. He struggled to deal with the example, instead arguing that if you shot for the Moon, at least if you missed you’d end up in the stars.
The attitude I portrayed is in keeping with me as an individual. I’m risk-averse, although I can have optimism in abundance when the mood strikes. I tend not to shoot for the moon, which will always hold me back while at the same time keeping me steady. I guess that’s just the way my cloth’s cut. And a reason why my bank balance doesn’t have nine digits—with or without the decimals.