Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Goals Are Stupid


Setting goals sounds like what you need to do to be successful, it is what every HR Manager will ask you in any interview. What is your 5 year goal? 10 year goal? Guess what. I have never achieved any goal I told those people in those interviews.

I told many people that I would have a Project Managers Certification over the last 5 years. I am allowed to sit and take the test at any time. I haven’t because.
  • I get to do the job everyday anyway.
  • No one asks me to see my certificate before they do the job I ask them to.
  • It won’t make me a better person, it will only be a bragging point and no one likes a braggart.
Goals, in an extreme, mean you aren’t happy until you achieve your goal. Then what? OMG! I didn’t make my 5 year goal mark. My life is going nowhere. I got passed over for promotion. I will never be a success.

Remember that a goal is only achieved once. Even when you finally achieve your dream goal you will see that goals are only the seeds that grow into problems. A goal is fleeting. You get there, you feel happy for a second, and then the worries begin again.

If I set a goal to get a job at a specific company and do, I would get the gratification of achieving a small goal but then the other things set in. Am I good enough to keep this job? Am I wearing the correct attire? Now I am worried I will lose it. Or I have to kiss ass to my boss. Or I have to impress my colleagues. And I go to bed stressed on bad days.

Write down your goals. If you don’t have any, make some up. Now cross them out. Replace each goal with a theme. 

Yes a Theme.

You can build your days around your themes. I want to learn more. I want to be healthy. I want to be good to people. I want to help people feel good about themselves. I want to be creative. I want to choose me.

Guess what? When you are focused on the now and working towards your daily theme everything else falls into place. Because you studied more or wrote more or chose to be nicer to people, you get chosen to be the one people want to be around.

You have the attitude of gratitude. Grateful that you are working in a place you want to be at, doing something you enjoy because you are working your theme of making your day better.

Whenever I see a person in football get a touchdown or tackle and act like they have never done it before, and have finally achieved that goal I feed sad for them. Because that joy is fleeting and they may never get that again. But when I see someone doing the same thing over and over and getting better each time I know that they have a theme that drives them.

An important theme for me is to every day focus on how I am treating people and am I getting out of my fears. For me, I know that works. Works for what? Who cares. It just works. Whatever your theme is, check it throughout the day – Ask: am I living by my theme?


When you see that a theme can create a life whereas a goal can create a moment you will know that the theme will set you apart.