Goals Are Overrated

Mar 3, 2014

Goals are overrated?  A declaration that may cause some to squirm.  As for me?  What a relief!!  Truthfully, I nearly wept when I read this and the rest of Rick Tamlyn’s book, Play Your Bigger Game


More on that, but first, some of my history with regards to goals.


Open any book or attend any workshop on success and somewhere, somehow, there will be a discussion on goals.  That’s usually when I check out or the part I skip over.


Previously, I have talked about personality assessments. Depending on which one you go by, I am a ruby/red (gems/color model) and a Type 6 (Enneagram).  This means that when it comes no-goal-settingto goal setting, I avoid it. Basically, if I’m not sure I can win the game, I don’t want to play.  Setting goals causes great anxiety because I worry about failing.  Quite the conundrum when my success hinges on helping others reach their goals.  How can I not have my own?  Rather hypocritical.  Totally irresponsible and being irresponsible is blasphemous to a Type 6.


Can you see my plight?


The antidote to my avoidance always seems to be the cloying question, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”  Uggh… Okay, certainly this opens up the dreaming, but then there are all those guidelines always taught about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals – (S)pecific, (M)easurable, (A)chievable, whatever the (R) stands for, and within a certain (T)ime frame.


Can you sense my disdain?


During a growth spurt in my business a couple of years ago, I was so focused on a goal and the deadline to achieve it, that I was really making things happen.  Correction, I was forcing things to happen.  I wasn’t seeing people, I was seeing results.  It was about my agenda, not theirs.  Whatever you take by force you will have to keep by force.  The minute the force is lessened, everything collapses and so do I.  Not the kind of lifestyle I am promoting, nor want, that’s for sure.


How to do I reconcile the common goal setting dictates (what I’m used to doing to achieve a goal) and have faith in a whole new model?  Is there a new model?  Maybe I just have to suck it up and come to terms with the fact that setting goals is a necessary evil for me.  Or is it?


For a year or more, this had been a regular quandary for me.


Thus, imagine the joyous relief that swept over me when I picked up Play Your Bigger Game and read this:


“One of the underlying philosophies of the The Bigger Game is that goals are overrated.”


Then a couple of paragraphs later:


“When you are fully engaged in your bigger game, which will be something that truly matters, you discover that goals are met and problems solved as you play…..Your attention isn’t focused on outcomes; it’s focused on playing.”


And then this:


“No one has to tell you when to show up for work or what to do at work.  Your work lives inside you as your purpose.  It’s personal, and, as a result, your energy level soars.  You find yourself performing at unprecedented levels: doing more, achieving more, creating fresh opportunities, and feeling more fulfilled.”  ~ Rick Tamlyn, Play Your Bigger Game


Since beginning to play my own bigger game, I am happy to report that all of this is absolutely, positively and amazingly true!


Duplication is a much used word in our industry.  Any success hinges on it.  If we don’t have duplication, if we can’t provide it for those we train, we might as well go home.


Likewise, wbigger gamee are told that having a strong WHY (aka hot spot, identity, compelling purpose, etc) is key.  Yes, yes, I know –  people don’t care what we do, they care why we do it.


But  HOW?!  How do we find or build that WHY and then train others to do the same?


Previously, I’ve also written about identifying your “hot spot” and “building a fire, both metaphors for finding and acting on what Rick calls our compelling purpose.  What I haven’t been able to offer, until now, is a specific road map for how to do either.  And without a road map, how can we help others achieve too?


The Bigger Game concepts not only provide the road map for moving forward on our journey but, more importantly, help us define what our journey is.  Pretty important stuff, in my opinion.  After all, having a road map doesn’t really matter if we don’t even know what road we’re on, right?


Let me add that “bigger” doesn’t have to mean large or grand.  It can be something in our family, life, career or business that we feel compelled to do.  The emphasis is on the energy it evokes within us.


Consider this:


  • When individuals or groups are purpose-driven, they are deeply engaged.
  • We inherently become more creative, innovative and bolder with our actions when we are compelled and passionate about what we are doing.


I believe everyone has a bigger game within them. The question is how to connect to it and put it into action.


Imagine your business being filled with people who are playing their bigger game.  How would it be transformed?


So, if you haven’t figured it out already, I’m giving up the goals (or at least not making them such a priority) and focusing on playing my bigger game instead.  Who’s with me?


About Kim Reed

About Kim Reed


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