Our Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals

Think of the last time that you set a real stretch goal for yourself…something that seemed so big and unachievable at the time that it was more like a dream than a goal.

One of the books I recently read referred to this type of goal as a BHAG – a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.  A BHAG would be a goal that is so big that you have to make changes in multiple aspects of your life in order to achieve the goal.

For many of us, a BHAG would be something related to a physical accomplishment like completing an Ironman triathlon or climbing to the top of a challenging mountain peak. Preparing for this challenge would take months of training and require changes in multiple aspects of your life. You would likely change your diet, change your sleep patterns, change your work schedule and maybe even change some of the people you spend time with. In the end, you would see that the accumulated effect of all those small changes played a huge part in helping you cross the finish line or reach the mountain crest.

Accomplishing this goal would certainly give you a reason to feel good because you had to make sacrifices and work hard to complete something that most other people will never even attempt.

The men who come to 4:13 Strong are chasing after their own Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

Their BHAG isn’t to reach the top of a mountain or to complete a 140.6-mile endurance race, but it is equally challenging and just as audacious. Their goal is to completely remake themselves. They are looking to leave their old life behind and become a new man – a man who rejects passivity, accepts responsibility and leads courageously.

I am continually amazed by what the men at 4:13 Strong are able to accomplish in the short time they are with us. They come to us broken, pessimistic and with a negative outlook on life. James Bell (JB), one of the men in the current 4:13 Strong class put it this way:

“The world had moved me to a point where I was radical and didn’t care too much about anything or anyone.”

But JB is a different person today. With a lot of hard work and by making changes to multiple aspects of his life, JB is becoming a new man. He now has a full-time job with a great employer who actually cares about him. He is repairing old relationships and building new ones. He is growing in his faith and becoming a great example for others. As he puts it:

“I am in a new phase of life thanks to 4:13 Strong. I am now more humble and sensitive to other people’s needs. I am more open minded to what’s going on around me.”

In a couple of weeks, we will be celebrating the transformation of JB and the rest of the 4:13 Strong men who have completed our program this year. We want to make sure these men know that we recognize their achievements and all the effort it took to make those life changes. On Thursday, December 13, we will have a graduation ceremony complete with cap and gown for these men. Please join us to let these men know that we see what they have accomplished. Click here for more details and to RSVP.

On January 7, 2019, a whole new group of men will come to us looking a lot like the old JB – broken, pessimistic and “not caring too much about anything or anyone.” You can help us make a difference for these young men by supporting 4:13 Strong with donations and by volunteering. You can click here to make a year-end donation to 4:13 Strong, or you can mail a donation to P.O. Box 101425, Nashville, TN 37224.

If you would like to be part of the journey with the next class of 4:13 Strong men, take a look at our volunteer opportunities.

THANK YOU for helping the young men who come to 4:13 Strong to achieve far more than they ever dreamed possible.

President, 4:13 Strong