Your Goals Could Be Preventing You From Achievement

I've long been interested in the feature separating those who perform outstandingly well from those who exist within circles of mediocrity. Let's call this feature The Trait of Remarkableness. This trait is in the student who achieves strings of straight As at the end of each academic session. And, it's in the professional who consistently achieves big wins.

What is this distinguishing feature?

A YouTube video which recently came under my radar offered a clue to this inquiry. It pointed to the approach achievers use to reaching their goals; a sentiment captured aptly in the title of the video: If you want to achieve your goals, don't focus on them. Watch:

This goes against popular advice about achieving goals. However, it brought to mind the work by Kerry Patterson et al., called Influencer; The New Science of Leading Change. In the book, the authors tap into social science research and skills of successful individuals and organizations from around the world. At the heart of the book is a thesis articulated with this idea: the power to change anything rests in ones ability to effectuate specific sets of behaviors required to bring about the needed change. 

This brings forth an interesting implication. Delving into a goal setting framework, where we define and re-define our goals, may not be a terribly effective approach to achieving them. As I have written about in a related post, identifying or "setting" goals isn't what brings our desires into fruition. A set-it-and-forget-it approach may prove more useful. The individuals interviewed for Influencer had goals (in fact big audacious ones). But they did not fixate on them, or remain in a continuous loop of setting them. They instead relied on identifying and employing (most times adding and removing) behaviors needed to reach their desired goals. This isn't a suggestion to abandon goal setting methods, they are useful tools. It is a motion to get careful about the whole point of setting goals: achieving them.

In all the method for effective achievement of worthy goals, however modest or grand they may be, seems too important to ignore. It's too early in my search to single out the chief feature or features within remarkable folks among us. But it can be agreed upon that the set of actions these people engage deserves close attention from those who care to break free from the shackles of mediocrity.


Post Author: P. W. Uduk 

Photo Source: www.

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