Goals and values
We are taught by most everyone to set goals. But goals are a double edged sword.
Let's see why? A goal is a specific measurable tangible PUBLIC result, set in time. What result by what time...
Getting happier, making more money, etc. are not goals, they are yearnings.
If we wanted to turn them into goals, they would look like this:
- Every day, at 5 pm, you would see me with a big smile on my face, although I would not be at a happy hour...
- At next April 15, my taxable income will have risen 15,000 dollars compared to last year's taxable income.
Goals are good, but more often than not, they are misery makers.
The "not yet" or "not there yet" syndrome of goals
Why? Because every minute, on the way to the accomplishment of the goal, you are in the state of "not yet."
Imagine having a goal of climbing a mountain. Unless you add a secret ingredient, the journey won't matter, only the result. But the result is often out of your hands, weather, illness... But even when you accomplish your result, the next thing is to set the next bigger goal... which means you go through life in the state of "somewhere is better than here" which is miserable.
I did say goals are good, right? They get you off your butt, they set direction for action, and in that sense they are excellent. But by themselves they are toxic.
So, what can you add to this system of goal setting that could use the energy of the destination of a goal, but make the journey more satisfying?
The solution to the "not there yet" syndrome: add a value
Values by themselves are weak, because they don't have a direction, they don't give you growth, and without growth you are withering.
Goals, by themselves, rob you of enjoying the journey.
Here is one example of how values turn goals into an enjoyable journey
Yesterday I had a conversation with a long time student of mine. She sent me in the answers to the three questions from a few days ago, and we discussed that.
To remind you of the three questions: I asked you (sorry, Vishen asked you) to envision some future in the areas of experience, growth, and contribution.
- have my family living in one city/country (close to each other)
- growing my own vegetables in my own garden in my own little house (childhood dream)
- gain more confidence
- overcome shyness
- become fluent in conversation
- reach the point where I'm present most of the time
- learn to draw
- learn Chinese (at least some basics)
- move more people to make their own food/vegetables
- teach little children to make some crafts
If you look, most of these are goal-type of accomplishments, minus the time and the specificity. They are vague yearnings that unless they are accomplished they leave my student with more misery and unfulfillment than anything.
The "job" of values, the function of values, when you add them to your goals is to remove the vague yearning, and replace them with the joy of the journey, the experience that it is up to you...
If it is to be, it is up to me
I asked her what was it really that she wanted to accomplish with each goal-like result.
The first line, the family living in the same city, gave it away.
My friend craves closeness. Closeness is a value that she has.
If you look through that value at all her goal-like statements, you'll see that closeness is the result of most of them. Physical, emotional closeness. A sense of intimacy. A sense of belonging. A sense of family, a sense of rootedness, a sense of NOT aloneness.
She wants to fuse with her family, with the earth.
LISTEN UP, HERE COMES THE IMPORTANT PART! THE LESSON!
Not surprisingly, she expects the sense of closeness to come as a result of some circumstance. Why?
I yearned for my mother to love me while I frowned at her, ran from her, resisted her every word.
We want love without first giving love ourselves. Maybe we give tokens of love, gifts and such, but gifts are gifts, not love. Or we say: I love you, but saying I love you is not love, it is just words.
If you want to experience closeness, you need to give it. If it is hard for you, then this is an area of growth for you: you need to learn to remove what is between you and others, what is between you and what you want to be close with.
- People want to be happy, but they want it from the outside.
- People want to be rich but they want it from the outside.
- People want to be liked but they want it from the outside.
Whatever you want to experience in your pursuit of goals, in living your life, is what you are not providing.
Somebody giving you closeness feels like smothering, or crowding, not closeness.
Closeness is what you give. Love is what you give not the other. Intimacy is what you give, not the other. Richness is what you give to your life, it is never money.
You are both stingy and clueless in the area of your yearnings: you don't want to give it, and you don't know how to give.
If you do the 3 questions exercise, don't stop there: ask the question: what do I really want to experience with those "goals"? What do I yearn to experience? Happiness, joy, being loved, being needed, being noticed, being valuable, being a contribution?
Help is available... one-on-one, so you can start your life and fulfill on what you need!
If you need help evaluating it, I am willing to do a coaching session next Monday at 4, to help you out with that. Email me your list, or have it available at the call. A $200 value, at least.
That value, the missing value, is what I call Instant Coherence, by the way.
I will have an afternoon and an evening session, 4 pm and 9 pm, September 29. Only people on the call get a recording of the session.
Here is the link to register in the goals and values call... individual attention, not a presentation or a lecture. Have working headset to participate.
PS: finding the value, the missing value, is like seeing the back of your head. I still haven't been able to find my own... so don't think that you are clever and you can find it: my 30 years experience in coaching taught me that there are certain things you cannot see yourself.
But if you are one of the incorrigible individualists (probably utterly miserable as well!) the key to finding the value is your yearning... now, seeing that you are stingy there is quite another question.
And unless you find yourself with tears in your eyes, you are off... very off.