Are Your Best Successes a Result of Goal-Setting?
I will readily admit that mine aren’t. Goal-setting has been on my mind a lot lately, as I recently have been involved in career-planning discussions with 20-somethings. As we’ve talked about their passions — or, sometimes, their lack of passions — I’ve also spent some time reflecting on my own life (it’s true, I didn’t feel a strong passion about anything in particular after my football-coaching gig didn’t work out).
Any of you who know me realize I’m a very serious business and personal goal-setter. I strongly believe in planning and goal-setting. Over the years, it’s helped me make good choices regarding how to spend my time and money.
That being said, as I’ve thought about my life, I can’t think of one major thing that has been the direct result of my goal-setting. For example, I went to Western Michigan University to become a football coach, but instead I ended up at Plante Moran. Then there was the time my college roommate and I went to the Lutheran Student Center’s dinner one Sunday evening because our dorm didn’t serve an evening meal. I went simply to get some dinner, but instead I met Barbara (this was over 50 years ago!). Once we were married, Barbara and I had no plans to live in Fenton (long story of how we got here), but today we love it. Finally, it wasn’t my plan to be in business with Barbara, but that’s not the way things turned out.
So here’s my current advice:
- Put your sail up and let the wind blow into it.
- Don’t over-analyze everything.
- Don’t fight gravity. If things are going well, continue — but if you keep bumping your nose, move on.
- If doors open, go through them.
- Some of us have to experience a lot of things to find our passion.
- Do your best wherever you are.
- Always learn as much as you can, wherever you are. As you go through life, you’ll be surprised how many of your life experiences will connect years later.
- If you’re in a miserable situation, move on.
- It’s not all about money.
With the advantage of several decades of life, I feel that today I am in my “calling” or “passion,” and I love almost every day of it. That being said, it took a lot of experiences for me to realize what I wanted.
So hang in there, put your sail up, and walk through any doors that open, no matter how scary it may seem.
p.s. Give me a call if you want to talk.