I don’t mean… Who all be an unmotivated commitment phobe say yeaaaaa!?! Rather… Anyone else consider themselves a driven individual, but find traditional goal-setting unappealing, unnecessary, or unfruitful?
I really haven’t considered the point of this post, so I’m just throwing some thoughts out there… excuse any rambling!
I’ve discovered I’m not a big dreamer. That sounds totally sad, but really I’m just an expert at living in the moment :) I usually see what I want clearly… and it never leaves my mind. Focusing that far into the future seems like wasted time, because I’m too busy figuring out practical steps to make it happen now… and I enjoy the process.
Why does one need to write dreams on a bedazzled post-it note or share on facebook? Will you really forget that you want to move to Los Angeles? Lose 50 lbs? Learn French? Make new friends? No. Not if you’re serious about it. You probably do it for the warm fuzzies (or because your boss/teacher/pastor/parent told you it was a good idea).
I’ve just always been bothered by the pressure to set goals when I know I don’t need it for motivation. The most exciting things I’ve achieved were never written down or said aloud as a statement, but they took the path of any goal and they were certainly intentional ambitions. My plans that lead to successes have always been shared once I took a few steps in its direction.
If you need time to pinpoint what you want… Hey, take a bubble bath and write in your fresh journal, but limit the dreamy phase and move to the action… or at least marry the two! Food for thought: Why do you write down and/or share your goals? Is this habit? For accountability? Because it feels like you’re already achieving something?
If going public or writing it down is a by-product of being excited or simply strategy, more power to ya! My dad has been dropping this stat at every opportunity for the last 20 years: “You know, people who write down their goals are X percent more likely to achieve them.” And (bonus!) my mom even wrote an e-book on reaching goals. So, I have been fully persuaded that it’s smart to meditate on where you want to go.
You can’t keep that stuff completely locked up inside and expect to see it grow, but for me this means acting on those thoughts in my head - doing things that get me to my final destination faster… or at my preferred pace. But I never turn it off - it’s a steady, constant direction toward my goal(s). Not like a big declaration - “Today is day 1 of blah blah blah… and I’ll start by doing X, Y, Z.” I do think there’s power in verbalizing your dreams and vision. Sharing thoughts can definitely kick it into gear… gives you momentum. I see that. But so often it’s based on feeling!
My point isn’t that this stuff is bad… in fact, I’m sure it only helps you get closer. But it seems to help a lot of people acheive a little… as opposed to finding a way to totally get there… whatever your ‘there’ is. My thinking is- Just don’t do it til you’re ready, til you know you want it enough. Time spent in that bubble bath does not have a direct correlation to how close your U-HAUL gets to your new LA life. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking there’s power in the goal. It’s a pattern for many… one that often doesn’t deliver what you expect… but maybe if you try starting differently it’ll end differently.
If you’ve got some efficient process for meeting goals or the ‘something is better than nothing’ mentality sits well with you, then carry on with those 2012 resolutions tomorrow! But otherwise, if you want to get big thangs poppin this year, maybe you should reevaluate your goal-setting style. Maybe trade it for more of an action step process without a big label… or maybe lose it all together. Basically, I vote we all focus on the plan over the dream and the doing over the plan.
I really do like when other people set goals… even enjoy reading them via twitter and facebook on Jan 1 :) I don’t relate to or find faith in most people’s process… but I’m inspired when people really go for it! And mostly, I love encouraging those close to me to think about their dreams/goals/vision in specifics… break it down and make it happen!
This started as a tweet and somehow turned into a bazillion thoughts… that I wish I had time to polish… hope it makes some sense.
Happy NYE :) Live in the last moments of 2011 tonight!!!!
Then I realized what it is I appreciate about his thoughts. They have that rare balance of emotion and structure. His imagination was wild, but the dude just breaks it down, ya know? He’s probably one of the greatest innovators in history, but when he talks about building the Disney dream, the tone I hear is sort of: It’s not that complicated…. just do what you know you were made to do.’
He often leaves me like- yea… wow… duh. And at the same time, gets my mind going and stirs my heart a bit. Inspiration without the fluff, I guess :) I appreciate the dry simplicity… and certainly the experience behind his words. The quotes themselves aren’t mind-blowing… but when you consider his story, his thoughts (that I take as advice) might not be what you’d expect from a guy who built an empire on fantasy.
A few I come back to:
- I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained. (fave of all faves to the 1000th power!)
- Mickey Mouse popped out of my mind onto a drawing pad 20 years ago on a train ride from Manhattan to Hollywood at a time when business fortunes of my brother Roy and myself were at lowest ebb and disaster seemed right around the corner.
- It’s no secret that we were sticking just about every nickel we had on the chance that people would really be interested in something totally new and unique in the field of entertainment.
- I am not influenced by the techniques or fashions of any other motion picture company.
- Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating those who work with me and aiming their efforts at a certain goal.
- When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.
- You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.
- We are not trying to entertain the critics. I’ll take my chances with the public.
- It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.
The best of friends.
I once asked Stanley Marcus, legendary retailer and chairman emeritus of Neiman-Marcus, “What do the wealthy, powerful, and famous people you know have in common?”
"They all have 24-hour days," replied the man who counted many of these individuals as personal friends.
Then he explained: “The world has expanded in almost all directions, but we still have a 24-hour day. The most successful people and the most unsuccessful people all receive the same ration of hours each day.” …—