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Do Your Goals Haunt or Lure?

Do your goals haunt or lure?

It’s the difference between having your goals behind you or in front of you.

Behind you, the best goals can do is accuse you. They can goad you with fear or haunt like some guilting ghoul. From behind you, your goals will send one message, “You are still not there yet. What is your problem?”

In front of you, goals can serve as an alluring tempter or temptress. They will draw you toward an extremely attractive future. Out in front, your goals will send a message of motivation, “What you want is over here. Achieve and live it. It’s worth the effort.”

And so back to the original question. Do your goals haunt or lure?

I believe the distinction lies within two questions. 1) Have you owned each goal as your own? And, 2) Do you interpret missteps as damning failures or learning opportunities?

For example: What goals were set in your last performance review? Who initiated them, you or your supervisor? If your supervisor, have you made them your own yet? If not, then I’ll bet you’ll feel like the goals are haunting you all year. “Are you there yet?” “Your raise depends on this.” “Don’t mess up now.”

On the other hand, if you’ve owned the goals as your own, then your motivation comes from within instead of outside of yourself. You want; therefore you work. The achievement is associated with a positive desire (hence “lure”) instead of a negative judgment (aka fear.)

Regarding the inevitable missteps along the way, if every one feels like a failure to you, then your road to goal achievement is primarily an experience of obstacles and setbacks. Your spirit gets progressively beaten down instead of nourished and energized as it would if you felt you were learning and improving along the way.

And so we need to deliberately choose to view our errors as gifts. Gifts we open with gratitude and from which we choose to benefit. Benefit by learning: becoming wiser, more skilled and more committed to playing at the top of our professional game.

For today it is enough to simply pause and reflect on the initial question: Do your goals haunt or lure?

On your side,

– Karl



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