Allow me to share a story of a conversation with a CEO which happened a few weeks ago.

Me: Hey Jenny (not her real name), I know you’ve been feeling a bit stuck lately with setting ambitious goals for your company. Can you tell me more about what’s been going on?

Jenny: Yeah, it’s been a bit of a struggle. I feel like I’m running in circles. I want to set audacious goals to take my mission forward. But the last few times we did that, we did not hit our goals. So now we are not even setting big goals – which is again a problem. I don’t know what to do. How should I set goals?

Me: Let me ask you this – What does it mean when you hit your goals?

Jenny: Success

Me: And what does it mean to you when you do not hit your goals?

Jenny: It means that we failed as a company – and I failed as a leader. It’s like I’m trapped in this cycle of setting small, safe goals because I’m so afraid of missing the mark.

Me: I totally get where you’re coming from, Jenny. But what if I told you there’s a different way to look at goals?

Jenny: Really? How so?

Me: Well, here is a question for you. This will be a mind-bender so pay attention. How would your life be if success and failure has nothing to do with hitting goals or missing them?

Jenny: What?

Me: How would your life be like if whether you hit your goals or not, it doesn’t mean anything about success and failure? What would become possible for you?

Jenny: but then how would I hold my team accountable? how would I inspire my team? how would I do anything? how…

Me: (interrupting her) slow down. slow down. you are not answering the question I am asking.

Jenny: I get what you are trying to say. That there is no failure and we need to learn from failure. That I need to…

Me: (interrupting her) slow down. you are running ahead. I am not trying to say anything. I am not asking you to do anything – not even to trust me or believe me.

Jenny: uhhh… so what are you telling me?

Me: Nothing. I am asking you a question – How would your life be if success and failure has nothing to do with hitting goals or missing them? Now don’t rush ahead. Stay with the question. Close your eyes and be with this question. Don’t rush ahead to your team or any other concern. Think. Imagine. How would life be?

Jenny: That sounds… freeing. But is it practical? I mean, won’t I lose my drive if I’m not constantly pushing myself to succeed? (sounding confused)

Me: slow down. slow down. Can you notice this is so unusual and uncomfortable that you want to rush ahead with – “yeah but” and “what if” and “wouldn’t I”?

Jenny: hmmm… I can see that. (closing her eyes again and with a relaxation on her face) yeah I guess it would be tremendously freeing. I can set whatever goal I like – and fast. And if we don’t hit them, we would just set another goal and keep moving forward. (now almost giggling)…

Me: Wonderful. Thank you for standing in the question and looking at life from there. Now let’s talk about your concerns.

Jenny: (she continues with all her concerns about pushing herself, her team, and succeeding) Wouldn’t I just set totally directionless and unrealistic goals then?

Me: I hear you, Jenny. It’s a common concern. Think about it this way – your goals would not be directionless. they would still be aligned to your mission – the reason you started the company in the first place.

and when you’re driven by your deepest motivations and desires, rather than by a fear of failure or a craving for success, your goals become more meaningful. When you remove the pressure of success and failure, you’re free to pursue your goals from a place of authenticity. You celebrate your wins, but you also celebrate your efforts, regardless of the outcome.

And that actually increases your chances of achieving bigger goals. It’s a paradox and more importantly, the journey becomes more enjoyable whether you hit your goals or not.

Jenny: That’s a complete shift in perspective. But how do I even begin to shift my mindset like that?

Me: It is not just your mindset. This notion of success and failure and that we need to punish ourselves to succeed lives in our nervous system & in our entire culture. That is why it was so difficult to even consider this idea. The power is in staying in that uncomfortable space and taking action from there – not to fight it. Imagine a world where success and failure don’t dictate your every move. What would that look like for you?

Jenny: I guess it would be liberating. I wouldn’t feel so weighed down by the constant pressure to succeed. I see the value. otherwise I keep on doing the usual. and that will only produce the usual results – and with a lot of stress and anxiety.

Me: Exactly. It starts with giving yourself permission to explore the possibility of a world without success and failure. Sit with it, let it sink in. And remember, it’s okay to feel uncomfortable with this idea at first. Change can be daunting, but it’s often where the most growth happens.

Jenny: I suppose it’s worth a shot. I’m tired of feeling trapped by my own fears. I want to feel that sense of freedom and enjoyment in my progress again. I think I need to spend some time reflecting on this. This could change everything.

Me: wonderful, Jenny. I know that takes courage. If you can practice this, it will be a game-changer for you and your company.

Jenny: Thanks, I needed to hear that. (takes a sigh)

I asked AI about a world without success and failure. Its response shows how much failure and success are part of our culture. The below image is what it responded.

This narrative about chasing success and avoiding failure drives us unconsciously and harms us in ways we can not even imagine. Read the text below about a world without success and failure – yet full of commitment, peace, joy, momentum, and monumental growth and impact on the world around you.

This state is what I help my clients reach – and my results speak for themselves.

A world without Success and Failure

We live in a world defined by success and failure.

All of us want to win. Nobody wants to fail.

Yet, both of them go together.

If there is success in your world,

Fear of failure is also always lurking around.

When we hit our goals, we call that success.

When we miss them, we call that failure.

When we succeed, we rarely enjoy our success.

We try to hold on to it and avoid losing it.

We all know that feeling. Doesn’t feel like “winning”.

And when we fail, we blame and punish ourselves.

We are told that beating ourselves up gives us motivation.

In our world punishment is seen as necessary for success.

And blaming others is just another way of beating oneself up.

Hence we beat ourselves up. Over and over again.

In the long-run, it doesn’t work that way? Does it?

What if we lived in a world without success and failure?

In that world,

When we hit our goals, we hit our goals.

When we miss our goals, we missed our goals.

That’s it. Nothing less. Nothing more.

Most people find difficult to just sit with the above.

Their mind goes crazy with “yeah but’s” and “what if’s”

Can you imagine how Freeing that would be?

To live unburdened, free, and yet fully-immersed.

You can set any goal you want

Not for the high of success

But to create future results that matters to you

Not to avoid failure

But to explore, test and expand your potential

Can you imagine how Fun that would be?

When you hit your goals, you can celebrate and be proud.

You can choose your next goal from freedom rather than anxiety.

And when you do not hit your goals,

You still celebrate your effort and how far you have come

You only look back at the past to learn

Never to beat yourself or others up

You feel the same pride and choose your next goal without fear


This increases your chances of achieving bigger goals

When you see that hitting your goals or not doesn’t mean anything

Either way

You experience lightness, freedom, and enjoy your progress

Isn’t this what we seem to be chasing in the first place?

I know you want to reject this idea – even the possibility

I know your mind is already full of “why this won’t work”

I know you already know that “this is not practical”

I know you think that “this doesn’t apply to me”

That’s expected. And. For once – sit in the discomfort of this possibility

A world without success and future? If real, how would that be?

You simply go for what you want

Pulled by your deepest motivations & desires

Rather than pushed by a drive for success or fear of failure

How could life be in a world without success and failure?

Give yourself permission to just sit with this possibility.

Give it space. Nothing else is needed.

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Thank you. That’s it for now.

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If you have any questions or feedback, or if you are new and want to introduce yourself, email me at [sumit][at][]