It's always a shock to my system when I meet someone who doesn't have goals, the folks just drifting along with events, bouncing with the prevailing currents. I don't understand it because my hardwiring is different. Very different. Plus, I hang with folks that want to accomplish things, large and small.
I'm a huge fan of goals. However, I operate a little differently than the majority of the population, including those that are goal-setters.
I have a son-in-law, very goal-oriented (as is my daughter that he is married to.) Both of are planners, identifying their goals, laying down the path to the goal, often writing it down on paper to make sure all the steps are clear. Then, they pick up the first task and begin a march to the goal.
Which makes it sound easier than it is, but you get the idea of their general process. It's the one that most of the books you can order on Amazon will recommend, that teachers teach, that gurus advocate.
That's not my process. What they do, we call "Ready, Aim, Fire!"
My process is to identify my goal, like writing a book. Then I start. No plan, just an idea worth doing. Launch, and figure it out as I go.
Ready, FIRE!, Aim
It's the difference between an arrow, released to a target, and a self-correcting guided missile.
There are advantages to both approaches. The arrow already knows the target, the course, all the factors. The odds of hitting the target are good, and, the better your planning, the more likely you are to achieve the goal. There is the comfort of certainty in the process. Surprises can still happen but the planning stages will remove most of those.
The guided missile knows where it wants to end up but everything in between is in flux. A thousand possible paths exist and some will lead to dead ends. Others will lead to serendipitous points that enhance the journey. The very nature of the journey will be unpredictable and it's not for the fainthearted.
The guided missile has another advantage.
It can aim for the stars. There isn't any in between reasoning to explain why the goal is unreasonable or impossible. Truly transformational goals build off dreams, get their power from the passion that you invest.
Not everybody will understand the passion. Some will actively work against you and tell you the goal is unattainable.
Actually, they do this to the planners as well. My daughter, the planner, is studying electrical engineering. She's also raising a family, one daughter here, a son on the way. She's had classmates, especially the women, tell her she'll never complete the program because of the kids.
I laugh because they obviously misunderstand my kid. She's a stubborn one, and determined. She'll take in the insults - and that's what they are - and use them for motivation. In the meantime, she has a husband who's wonderfully supportive.
All three of my girls are like this. My wife and I joke that we doubled up on the stubborn gene but we also taught them to aim for the stars - and that they got to pick those stars. Yamaha motorcycles once ran an ad campaign targeting Honda, whose tagline was "Follow the Leader!" The Yamaha response, "At Yamaha, we don't believe you need to follow anybody!" and showed a bike kicking up dust across the open desert.
Whether you're a "Ready, Aim, Fire" person or a "Ready, Fire, Aim" sort like me, you have the right to define your own goals, your dreams. You also get to the right to define the path to them. Never surrender those, ever.
And, now a confession.
The picture I have embedded in this post doesn't match the content. That's because, in guided missile fashion, I originally aimed at something different, an explanation for why I needed a return to the Seven Devils to run the loop trail, all 30 miles of it, this year.
A serendipitous diversion on the way to that post. I'll put it up later this week.
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