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What does it mean to give yourself a challenge? And what material impact does that have on your approach and your outcomes? These are the questions and ideas we explore in this short video. Find out how something as subtle as your choice of words may be negatively or positively affecting your results! Hit the Play button and read along with the transcript below to learn more.

Hi everybody, it is Anthem Salgado, your business coach, and marketing strategist from Art of Hustle. Let’s talk about goals, challenges, and the mindsets associated with each.

I’m going to recall a story from a couple of years ago where I was still pretty much fancying myself a poet, and I was trying my hand at bilingual poetry. I wanted to write something in Spanish, and I remember asking a friend of mine, a native Spanish speaker, “How do you say the word ‘Challenge’?” And she said, “Well I’m not sure I understand. What exactly do you mean?” To which I replied, “Well you know like challenge. Like in the new year my challenge will be to accomplish the following things, X, Y, and Z.” And she said, “Well that’s really interesting. You know because in Spanish we don’t use challenge in that way.” She basically let me know I was searching of the wrong word. She said, “You don’t mean challenge, you mean goal, a thing you want to accomplish, right?” I said, “Yes, that’s right.”

It occurred to me that for a long while, I was thinking of my goals and challenges as synonymous when in reality it had to be pointed out to me that they’re not synonymous. Goal is something you aspire towards, and challenge is something you struggle against. So what do you have on your plate when it comes to your career or your business or your everyday to do list? Do you have a bunch of goals that you’ve set for yourself or you do you have a bunch of challenges that you’ve set for yourself? I’ll bet you anything, anything that how you think about it greatly if not 100% determines the kinds of outcomes that you’re going to get from approaching those tasks with those particular lenses.

And by the way, the word that I was finally given for goal in Spanish is Meta, which is also as the poetry of life would have it, the prefix to the word metamorphous. It turns out the poem that I was writing was way less interesting, and poetic than the actual poetry of the moment of discovering these kinds of things. While it’s not something that you can necessarily actionize physically, it is something to apply psychologically. We set goals, we don’t set challenges. I’ve been thinking about my goal setting in this way for many, many years. Just recently, somebody asked me, “What kind of problem would you like to address?” And I honestly, I drew a blank because I don’t look at anything these days as a problem, I look at everything as a goal that I want to work towards. That’s just the way I see it, that’s how I live, that’s the muscle I’ve been practicing, and now it’s just the way I experience life.

So it’s not impossible to be an optimist, but that takes work. It’s definitely work. Don’t take for granted that optimism is just something you have, it’s something each of us have to work towards and sometimes the thing we need to switch in our minds is something as subtle as what word we choose when describing the things that we’re trying to get done.

All right? That’s it. Go out there, stay strong, keep a good hustle. We’ll meet you at the website Many thanks.


If you got an ah-ha, however big or little, please feel free to send this along to friends and colleagues. Thank you for being in touch with Art of Hustle and minding the art in your own hustle. Stay up!