Vail Valley success: Mad, glad, sad and your goals |

Vail Valley success: Mad, glad, sad and your goals

Mad, glad, sad and your life’s goals


Climbing to success bug


A few years ago an inspiring motivational speaker and author, Krish Dhanam, shared with me a curious goal of his whenever he was to speak with a company or audience of any size.

He said that his goal was to make them mad, glad and sad. Mad that they hadn’t hired or seen him speak before, glad that he was there speaking with them now, and sad when his speech was finally finished.

When I reflected on these three words – mad, glad and sad – I wondered what would happen if I applied them to my own goals and activities in life. Would I be mad because there was something I had yet to do or engage in that I have been putting off for far too long? And if I actually stopped procrastinating and finally pursued that one thing I have wanted to do would I be glad that I did? When it was over or finished would I be a little sad?

The last word is where I struggled.

Maybe there would be a little sadness as a project or task came to an end, but I think there is also tremendous satisfaction and sense of accomplishment at the same time. There should also now be a sense of desire and passion to begin the next mission or assignment.

Think about it for a moment. What are some of your goals, tasks, or projects that you are mad at yourself for not starting yet? Then paint a mental picture of the finished work in your head, how does it look completed? Does it look like something you would be proud of and can you see yourself being glad you took it on? Then, would you be sad that the project was over or stimulated to move on to conquer the next project that you have been delaying?

There is that word – sad – again.

The feeling of sadness may come because we got to enjoy the company of a spouse, son, daughter, friend, or co-worker. Maybe it was even a team of co-workers and when the work is wrapped up we are sad because we will miss their company and working side-by-side with one another. The good news is this – when we accomplish a worthy goal, whether alone or with a partner, that sense of pride and feeling of achievement are contagious. This positive sensation will overcome those fleeting moments of sadness and drive us in search of what’s next, and it could even involve the same person or team.

Use the mad, glad, and sad philosophy when you analyze where you are today in relation to your own goals and objectives. Will you be mad you didn’t start sooner? Can you see yourself being glad you are doing it? And will sadness and then incredible satisfaction motivate you to move on to item number two on your list? I would love to hear your thoughts at and make it a better than good week.

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

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