A perspective that I’ve realized is very challenging for people is that I don’t believe in setting goals… But the truth is it works!A lot of my clients are high-achievers. In the world they operate they’re used to setting goals, work towards those goals and their main question is how are we going to reach them. And it’s not uncommon that, when they feel confused in life, it’s because they don’t have any goals or feels insecure about what goals to work towards.
And I realize that this “nosettinggoalthing” isn’t applicable in the world of athletes. But I’m not talking about being able to run a mile in a specific time, I’m talking about optimizing your potential…
For the absolute most part of us we don’t even question the “goalsetting”. The first question (well after the ones about your age and what you do for a living) is often “what are your goals or what’s your plan?” Since that question is more or less mandatory we walk around feeling as failures if we don’t have any goals and God forbid if we don’t have a specific plan either. And since nobody wants to feel as a failure we state our goals. At some level they make sense to us but maybe deep in our hearts that they might not even be true but it’s a lot easier to lie, to yourself and to others. And so it goes on.
I find the fixation with goals completely contra productive! When clients come to me, one of the first things they want me to help them with is to define what goals they should have and when I say f–k goals they look at me as if I’ve just said the weirdest thing they’ve heard since the last quote from Donald Trump…
But there’s a reason why I don’t believe in goals. And a perspective that I’ve found is a lot more beneficial!
First, the problem with goals is that people are more focused on setting goals for the future then exploring the present moment. Let’s say you’re in a really tough spot. You’re miserable at work, stressed out in general and the little time you have for yourself is constantly being absorbed into this massive hole we call life. If you were to set goals at this point in your life it wouldn’t be fare to your true potential. These goals would have one sole purpose, to give you a fictive future place that you believed would be better than the one you’re at today!
Secondly, goals limit you! Lets say you have defined your life goals. When you defined those goals you were at a place in your life where you didn’t really know what your true potential was. You hadn’t given it much thought since you were preoccupied with managing life, work etc. etc. You knew you had more in you but didn’t have time to explore what that might be. So, at this stage in your life (which is what most of our lives look like all our lives…) you decide to set goals for yourself. Do you think that these goals will expand or limit your life? I can guarantee that these goals only will limit your life! They are set at a time when you’re not operating at your true potential and hence will only enforce what is already known to you.
What if you could make today, not the fictive future, a lot better? What if the consequence of making today better would mean a future that is beyond your expectations?
That’s what finding, and optimizing, your true potential means! Since I’ve been a business developer for many years I didn’t even reflect on this constant “goalsetting”, it was a part of my everyday work but when I saw the major changes in my clients life I experimented with skipping goals in a couple of business developing programmes and even there the results were absolutely amazing!
Why not try something different and see where you’ll end up? I call it one brick a day and you can read more about that here.