No matter what stage of life or business you are at
This morning I was watching my 7 year-old son practice his basketball skills in the laundry room, and as he excitedly explained to me the progression of how to practice dribbling, I noticed the excitement, joy and determination on his face. He’s had one practice, and already he’s set his sights on College Basketball and the NBA.
In that moment, I came to one very obvious realization as his face lit up, and the grumpy child from 10 minutes ago became full of life. I realized that having goals, and more importantly, a desire to improve, is so important when it comes to our own happiness, joy and our overall success.
When we aren’t feeling happiness, joy and success, it’s because we have no purpose behind our actions, and often we are in a constant state of reactivity, just trying to keep our head above water. The reason for that is likely one of two things: 1) there is no goal keeping you moving forward, growing, improving, and focused on a positive solution or outcome, or 2) You don’t have a meaningful intention behind your goals.
So You’ve Got No Goals
Having a direction you’d like your life or business to go is going to decide how successful you feel. I’m not referring to how successful you appear based on others standards–but how successful you feel every single day as your actions align with a direction or outcome that’s meaningful to you. So why don’t you have goals? There could be quite a few reasons for that, and often they all come down to one thing–FEAR. One could be that you’ve just gotten quite comfortable where you are, and you don’t want to rock the boat–that’s a fear of leaving the status quo. You tell yourself you’re content and happy–but are you really?
Another is a fear of failure, which can often happen when we set out on a goal with perfection in mind. But failure is a mindset. If you don’t want to fail, you won’t. That’s not to say some of the things you do might not turn out the way you would hope, but there’s no such thing as failure and there’s no such this as perfection. When what you want to happen doesn’t happen, it’s not an achievement problem you’re having, it’s an alignment or intention problem. So those goals that you gave up on that didn’t work out? It wasn’t because you are not good–it’s because you weren’t tuning in to what was most important to you.
So You’ve Got Goals, But They Never Work Out
We get so caught up thinking that because we want something, it is a meaningful and worthy goal for us. It must be our intuition, telling us it’s the right thing. Wrong. You need to ask yourself, “What is the intention behind this goal? Why do I want it?” You likely don’t realize what your intention is because it’s not really a question we often ask ourselves. We’re much more used to “going with our gut,” but where a lot of our intentions come from when we “fail” at a goal, is when we compare ourselves to others. We get caught up watching what others are doing around us–their achievements, business success, or outside appearance–and think that we want what they have, and then plan our goals and actions accordingly.
You will never experience long-lasting success by comparing yourself to others and trying to replicate them just so you can be as good, better, or have what they have. When setting an creating a meaningful goal it must be about what is best for YOU. Stay in your own lane by blocking out what others are doing and have done, and ask yourself “What excites me? What’s going to help me (or my business) grow/be better? How do I want to serve and contribute?”. This is how you set an intention that will create actions that are aligned with what’s most important to you.
Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect. It Makes You Better.
You might get down a path and realize your goal wasn’t as personal as you thought, or isn’t satisfying you the way you thought it would. That doesn’t mean you give up on your goals. The achievement of any worthy goal is the journey–all the actions and steps you take up to it–and THAT’s where the enjoyment comes from. Not from some desire for perfection, or belief that you need to get somewhere and THEN you can be happy, feel successful, or whatever other desired outcome you would like.
A meaningful goal is never about perfection. Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes you better. And celebrating every milestone and moment along the way, even when they come with a bump in the road, is what is going to guarantee you those feelings of success that you desire.
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