Doing goal setting with friends and colleagues is always motivating and invigorating for me. You hear things ranging from, "I want to help this village get out of poverty," or "I want to double our market share," or "I want to be financially independent."
What you rarely hear is, "I don't want to fail," "I don't want to look stupid," or "I don't want to make any mistakes."
The problem is that those goals are really common, and left unsaid, they dominate. If your goal is not to be called on in class, that's a largely achievable goal, right?
Think about how often your goal at a conference or a meeting or in a project is, "don't screw up!" or "don't make a fool of yourself and say the wrong thing." These are very easy goals to achieve, of course. Just do as little as possible. The problem is that they sabotage your real goals, the achievement ones.
It's not stupid to have a stated goal of starting several ventures that will fail, or asking three stupid questions a week, or posting a blog post that the world disagrees with. If you don't have goals like this, how exactly are you going to luck into being remarkable?
For more on this type of thinking, read my previous post on Failing Forward.