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To achieve something means to successfully reach a goal through your own efforts. It doesn’t matter if that goal is easy or almost impossible, noble or dastardly. If you reach the goal, boom, you’ve achieved it.

Say you set a goal of becoming a monstrously brutal dictator. If you subsequently take over a country, torturing and murdering anyone and everyone who gets in your way, then, because you’ve achieved your goal, you are an achiever. Don’t expect to win the Nobel Peace Prize or many friends among the masses you’ve brutalized, but you will be an achiever.

Note: I strongly recommend against shooting for a brutal dictator achievement because it will not be looked upon favorably by many people. I’m not suggesting that you should live your life for others, but, still, it wouldn’t hurt to try to not piss off to many of them. And, if there’s any justice in the world your brutal dictator achievement will win you an all-expenses paid trip to the Hague, where you will be tried and convicted for committing crimes against humanity and locked away for the remainder of your pitiful little life.

Because it’s so difficult and unsavory to become a brutal dictator, I recommend that you set somewhat less ambitious and less offensive goals instead. That way, you’ll suffer less disappointment in your life.

Further to that suggestion, here’s a tip for building your self-esteem: Always set goals you can achieve.

For example, if you adopt a goal of taking at least 500 breaths a day, you’ll be a tremendous overachiever every single day of your life. Then you can break out the champagne every day to celebrate your achievements! (Suggestion void where prohibited by an insufficient bank account.) The only time you’ll fail to achieve that goal is when you die, and then you won’t give a damn.

See? It’s easy to be an overachiever in your life, while others who set higher goals are miserable failures. In other words, you win. Feel free to do your little victory dance.

You can thank me later.

(Note: When I wrote the suggestion of setting a goal of 500 breaths a day, I originally meant it as a joke. Then I got to the part where I said that would allow you to celebrate your achievements with champagne every day and I thought, “Hmm. Maybe I’m onto something here.” Who’s with me on this? Will you bring the champagne?)

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