I've been wanting to write this tip for years, but was never sure if it was an important distinction, or if I was just being weird. At our World Class Life Conference this year, I tested the idea and the response was fantastic, so here goes: For some of us, direction is more important than goals.
At the Conference, I said that goals are good. We are goal-setting and goal-achieving creatures. Throughout our lives, human beings have lots of targets or benchmarks ("goals") and we achieve most of them. As kids, we have goals to ride a bike or to stay up past 10:00, to get our first date, first kiss, first car. As adults, we save for our first home, and so on. Goals are good and we all have them.
For many people, goal-setting is the tool for achieving most of the big things in life. For them, goal-setting works almost every time. If they can define a goal to learn Spanish or buy a Mercedes, they can figure out a plan and make it happen. For them, goal-setting "makes sense" and I wish them well.
But, it doesn't work that way for me, and I don't think goals are the "tool of choice" for millions of other people, either. Call me crazy, but for some of us, direction is far more important than a specific goal.
For some of us, goals feel "heavy." They're too concrete and they seem limiting. They are too focused, too narrow, too linear.
My theory is that for people who tend to be more "left brain" (to use that clumsy analogy), goals are wonderful. People who tend to be engineers, who prefer logic and clear instructions and who enjoy following a good recipe, goals work well. As one client said, "It's just logical!"
However, for those who are more "right brain," goals are too logical. For those who prefer intuition and spontaneity, for people who find the music more important than the words, goals don't always work. Sometimes we want to "wander around and enjoy the process." That can drive goal-seekers (and our spouses!) bonkers, but it can be great fun!
So, here are two key points: