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When the Means Have Become Ends

If you have a focused, hard-driving working style, it can be difficult to see alternatives that merit consideration.

In this week’s discussion of our 4th podcast on recovering from bad New Year’s resolutions, we’re looking at those who are disciplined and intentional to the point of rigidity. They’re getting amazing things done, but have become slaves to their methodology.

What we’re looking for are ways to turn the equation around and get back in touch with the original attraction that motivated the New Year’s resolution in the first place. The “means” have become the “ends,” and we want to recover our ability to identify and stay in touch with the goal (i.e. the original “ends”) we’re shooting for.

The tendency to switch attention to our means and methods can blind us to the impact our actions are having on others. Our heightened focus comes at the expense or our peripheral vision.

To focus on the means is like trying to drive straight by looking at the lines on the road. There is a limit to what you can observe by doing that. To focus on the ends is to direct your eyes down the road to where you want to end up. The steering takes care of itself and your peripheral vision is freed up to notice exponentially more.

Enhancing your peripheral vision doesn’t necessitate becoming less focused, but more. The difference is whether your focus is on the means or the ends.

Catch up on the entire series on Bad Resolution Recovery.

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