If you have read my blog before – (so that’s 2 of you 😉 & thanks Mum) you know that I made a new year’s resolution to put up a post once a week, and was tracking how I was going. I have however, fallen behind on this, mostly due to my new side project taking that time away. So it looks like I will miss the goals I set myself…but that’s ok.
Having goals that are clearly defined helps to give you direction and a gauge of your progress, but at the end of the day, you only have these because you have decided on a particular direction (or strategy). Making a decision to change that direction isn’t something you do lightly, but neither do you lock yourself into that direction when you have good reasons to change. Of course changing the goal, means changing how you measure your progress as well…
While I have been on this path for a little while, others have devoted their adult lives to the pursuit of a goal. Check out this video of a recent graduation speech giving by Conan O’Brien – even if you only watch it because the guy is really funny. Clearly this is a person who has had a rather public “failure” but also a rather public change in direction, and many would argue success in that new direction.
There is no greater cliché than follow your dream…whatever you think your dream is now, it will probably change. And that’s ok.”
Sometimes the absolutely focused and driven approach to the achievement of a specific goal is truly admirable (check out this article about a student walking up to accept their degree – it’s the first time they have been able to walk since their accident). Sometimes though, we relentlessly pursue a measure without remembering the direction we wanted to head in and why we wanted to go that way in the first place. There is of course the other side of this problem, where the direction and goals change so often that it seems we are dodging the responsibility and accountability, with good reason or not.
If you have a Key Performance Indicator that you are regularly coming back to (or are brought back to), then maybe you should just do a quick check every now and then of how that direction sits with you. If it’s still right then that’s great and it can re-affirm why you are working as hard as you are. But if it’s not right, then you can re-channel your energy for a better outcome.
PS. “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight” – Jim Rohn
“At midnight of the 12th of August” starts a classic line delivered by Richard Burton in Jeff Lyne’s musical version of War of the Worlds.
Lisa Simpson’s marriage in the future also happens in August – the 1st of August 2010 to be exact.
By now most anyone reading this will have seen the two stories circulating around of people quitting their jobs. One is a very clever I quit message delivered via 33 photos of whiteboards (which it turns out is a fake), and the other is an absolute brain explosion by a Jet Blue flight attendant who was simply pushed too far by an over demanding customer.
What’s the point? – Deciding when you will act (proactively) is often a way to create far better outcome that taking a wait-and-see approach or being reactive to what is going on around you. And so the saying goes… There are 3 kinds of people. Those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who ask “what happened?”.
All you have to do is decide which group you want to be in and then act accordingly. And so I now have a blog 🙂
PS. “The world has the habit of making room for the man whose actions show that he knows where he is going.” –Napoleon Hill