Are your goals all that matter to you, or do you often take time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey itself?
Like most goal setters, I do enjoy floating from goal to goal. But what I’ve come to realise about the process is that the finish line is just a tiny blip in the grand scheme of things.
A few years ago, one of Daniel’s dreams was tying together his two biggest passions – motorbiking and kite surfing – with someone he loves. He’s since smashed this goal and done so much more with his life.
I wanted to find out more about Daniel’s approach to goal setting and how he’s managed to tick off so many items on his bucket list. Ironically, he’s not so hung up on the act of hitting the goals – he’s got his sights set on something bigger!
The different types of goal setters
Daniel rightly pointed out that many people approach goal setting in different ways, depending on their personal experiences or philosophy.
Daniel: “When I first started out, I realised that people fall into different categories when it comes to goal setting. There are a lot of disempowered people out there. These people see goals and think, ‘It’s just another way that I can prove to myself that I suck. I’m not going to achieve anything.’
And there’s another group of people who love goals because it’s a way for them to confirm how awesome they are. They believe that they’ll experience or achieve something bigger in the pursuit of becoming awesome and, ultimately, create more satisfaction.
However, I didn’t belong to any of these categories. Instead, I was somewhere in the middle, thinking to myself, ‘Goals again? Are we still crapping on about this old thing?’”
I was curious as to why Daniel wasn’t too hung up on setting and hitting goals. As it turns out, it stemmed from his personal experience of feeling empty even after hitting some of his most important career achievements.
Achieving goals isn’t everything
Daniel: “At some point in my life, I had it all – a convertible Audi, a high-rise apartment, you name it. But I was empty. All I had was money and nothing else. That’s when I came to the sinking realisation that hitting goals wasn’t everything. And it shifted something in my brain. It’s not about hitting the goal. But it’s the pursuit of the goal and who we become along the way – that’s so much more important and powerful.
That’s what we should focus on. Otherwise, we hit a goal and experience the same thing that happened to me. I had hit what was presumably the biggest, best goal in my life and still had nothing. Coming to this realisation has certainly helped me minimise the feeling of emptiness that may come after a major achievement.”
I’m sure many of us can relate to what Daniel shared (I know I can!). I sold my business about four years ago for seven figures, and despite the fat lump sitting in my bank account, I found myself asking, “Now what?”
So it’s not about the destination – it’s about the journey itself. Achieving your goals shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all. Instead, it could be a step to achieving an even bigger reward. For instance, as you move towards one goal, you could learn some things along the way, all of which can be applied to a bigger, hairier, audacious goal.
And that’s the beauty of it all!
The essence of goals
Daniel: “For me, the essence of goal setting is that it provides some benchmarks and criteria to keep myself on track. This might be a weird analogy, but I like to think of goals as a homing missile. For it to hit its target, it always has to track the target and then correct its course. And I think that’s what goals are like – they give us something [benchmarks and milestones] to go towards.”
I particularly like Daniel’s perspective on goal setting. At its core, it’s about laying out steps and milestones to move you along the path to the life you actually want. As you hit each new milestone, you discover more of who you are and unearth even bigger dreams that will move you to a whole new level.
Has this blog changed your perception of goal setting? Is your destination still the main focus, or will you be revelling in the journey itself?