All of us have goals – some small – some big – but have we questioned these goals? Have we really felt that these are “our goals”? What makes us work towards some goals while some are on the back burner? What makes our goals actionable? Let us analyze
What is a goal?
Webster’s dictionary defines goal as “The final purpose or aim; the end to which a design tends, or which a person aims to reach or attain”.
The synonyms of goals are aim, ambition, aspiration, bourne (also bourn), design, dream, end, idea, ideal, intent, intention, mark, meaning, object, objective, plan, point, pretension, purpose, and target
If I were to put it I would simply say a goal is
The importance is on the word “Own”. Our goal should be owned by us. We are more likely to work passionately towards the goal when it’s owned by us rather than thrust on us by someone else.
A few examples to illustrate my point:
- Take the movie 3 Idiots – Rancho aka Amir Khan wanted to become an engineer; he loved the subject and went about achieving “his” goal with ease. Farhan Qureshi aka R Madhavan loved photography but was studying engineering as his “father’s” goal was to make him engineer. Farhan got “stressed out” trying to achieve a goal that was “not his” and becomes a successful wildlife photographer in the end
- How many times did our teachers/parents ask us to study consistently throughout the year? When do you think we actually studied – when exams were around the corner, when we had a tough deadline to meet or simply when we felt like it? We studied when we owned the ambition to study – for some it’s close to exam; for some it’s throughout the year. The point to make here is unless the ambition is ours – it’s difficult for us to take constructive steps towards it.
- In the corporate context the boss says he wants see the employee rating improve to 1 next year from the current 3. Now until the employee owns the goal do you think he will action it? If employee goal is to just improve by one notch then his actions will be in accordance to “his” set goals.
Most of the people don’t achieve their goals because they are either Giving Others Ambition Life or do not own the goal in the true sense (One cannot underestimate effect of herd mentality or peer pressure!)
A true sense of ownership of the goal creates momentum and fuels our actions towards the goal. When we find ourselves struggling with lethargy to achieve the goals or simply lack motivation – it’s wise to revisit and check do “you” really want it. Do you own the goal?
When does one own a goal?
As long as you believe that achieving the goal is making your life more pleasant you will attempt progressing towards it with enthusiasm. The moment you stop seeing any benefit – you “disown” the goal and then it’s very unlikely that you will progress on that path with positive energy.
Next time you set a goal – Just write down all the benefits “you” are getting by achieving the goal. This is the fuel. Even if you hit roadblocks you will work creatively to get back on track.However the moment YOU see no benefit – it will not matter even if there are books on benefits of the given subject – the goal is not yours and action will be unlikely. Very difficult to drive a car with no fuel!
Own the goal to make it actionable…
Happy goal setting everyone!
Keep watching this space for the next article