Scottish Rugby's new four-year strategic plan has set the bar very high and also includes ambitions to claim a Six Nations Grand Slam in the next few years.
Andy Robinson's team moved up from 12th to 9th in the IRB World Ranksing thanks to their June Test wins over Australia, Fiji and Samoa but have still fallen short of the top-eight ranking target by the end of 2012 contained in the SRU's previous strategic plan, written in 2007.
Paterson, who retired at the end of this season's Six Nations to join the national coaching structure believes it's best to aim high.
"It's an ambitious target, but I think it's good to set ambitious goals," Paterson told BBC Scotland.
"International rugby is so close, so why wouldn't it be do-able?
"We've seen Scotland win three games on tour over the last three weeks and international rugby is so close that could have been zero wins out of three," he added.
"And, if you turn that on its head, in the Six Nations, Scotland won zero out of five, and certainly the first three could have been wins against England, Wales and France.
"So you could have been going into the last two games against Ireland and Italy looking for two wins for a Grand Slam.
"The margins are so, so fine in international rugby and, if you get the small bits right, there's no reason why you can't be successful."
Chief executive Mark Dodson insists that the SRU's new plan does not set the bar too high.
"We have thought about this long and hard and it's certainly not a knee-jerk reaction from the recent wins in the southern hemisphere," he said.
"There's no reason why we can't win a World Cup or a Six Nations.
"We've got some fantastic athletes working in Scottish rugby who are capable of great things.
"We are an ambitious union and we need to set challenging targets."
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