27 January 2007

Goals and the Meta-Goals

We all have two meta-goals: define a goal and then achieve that goal.

You are sitting around on a Friday night or thinking about a change in your career. Your first step, your first meta-goal, is to define a goal. What do you want to do with your evening? What do you want to do for a career or cash flow?Once you've defined that goal, your next meta-goal is to achieve this newly articulated goal. You call friends to see if they will join you for dinner or begin to call could-be employers to learn whether they have any openings.

My opinion is that we generally spend an inordinate amount of time on pursuing goals and very little time articulating them.

Many goals get abandoned either because they weren't practical or they weren't really an expression of who we were. We shy away from the existential angst that invariably comes with the search to define a goal.

It just feels so much better to have a goal - even if it is a petty thing - than to drift without a goal. So, many people short circuit the inevitably frustrating work of finding a goal and leap into pursuing one. Show a little courage: struggle through the darkness rather than avoid it.

“To collect one’s forces, even when they seem to be scattered, and when one’s aim is only dimly perceived -- this is a great action and will sooner or later bring forth fruits.”
- Maria Montessori

Be patient. Find a goal that is articulated by a conspiracy of your head, heart, and gut. You won't just find the pursuit of that goal more gratifying - you'll find yourself.

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