Vail Daily column: An eye on the prize |

Vail Daily column: An eye on the prize

It was a very clear focus and spirit of determination that propelled the climbers to the summit of El Capitan. The free climb was the first in history on that wall in Yosemite National Park.

Teamwork and commitment with a clear focus on winning the Super Bowl is what has brought the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks to the NFL’s most coveted game, which will be played on Sunday.

Remarkable work ethic, skill and perseverance coupled with a laser focus on winning helped Lindsey Vonn establish herself in the record books of the women’s World Cup.

And clarity and focus were the key factors in helping Margaret achieve her two goals, losing 50 pounds and giving up smoking. In her letter to me, she said she had been overweight for most of her life and had been a smoker for more than 20 years.

Now Margaret may not have summited El Capitan during a free climb or made her way to the Super Bowl, and I confirmed that she never competed in a women’s World Cup event, but she kept her eye on her own prize with intense clarity and focus. Her prize was reclaiming her health and with courage and determination she pursued it vigorously until she reached her ideal weight and officially became a non-smoker. And by the way, Margaret says she was following some of the goal setting ideas I have shared in this column over the years.

You see, goal setting is not just for professional athletes. Goal setting is not just for businesses; goal setting is for everyone. The enemies of goal achievement are mediocrity and complacency. And when we have no goal or target to focus on, how can we ever keep our eye on the prize?

If the enemies of achievement are mediocrity and complacency, it can be said that the friends of achieving our goals are excellence and focus.


What is it that we want the most? Is it to be the No. 1 business? Is it to be the top salesperson in our company? Could we have a deep desire to lose weight, build muscle and become a more physically fit person? Maybe there is an addiction or habit that we need to quit. Whatever our goal is, whatever dream we are pursuing, we need to understand what it is and why we want it. The prize has to be clearly understood so that we can maintain our focused passion and keep our eyes on that prize.

Once we have that focus, the “how” part of our planning comes into play. But first we have to have the commitment in our hearts and the mindset of dedication in our heads before the strategies and tactics can be executed. Where our heads and our hearts go, our bodies will surely follow.

Goal setting doesn’t discriminate; it is not a special event for the privileged few. Goal setting knows no age barriers, and it is open to every person who has a dream. So, what is your dream?

Do you have a prize in mind? Is your eye clearly upon that prize? I would love to hear all about it at, and when we stay passionately focused on that prize, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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