Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Stop Setting Goals--Start Seeing Results

Things change quickly. Very quickly. Whether it is technology, relationships or our health, our lives can change instantly. This is rather ironic because 99% of the population hates change.
Change, however, is here to stay. At the gym this morning I thought it was interesting that most of the people working out had iPods—not even around 10 years ago. A few had portable CD players, not even invented when I was growing up.
With society changing so quickly, maybe we need to stop and think about how we set goals? From the time we’re children, we’re told to set goals and plow ahead “full-steam” toward those goals. Is this really the right approach? Because the business landscape changes so suddenly, is this “goal-setting strategy” moving us in the wrong direction more often than not?
Author Stephen Shapiro certainly thinks so. Shapiro, author of “Goal-Free Living” believes entrepreneurs should be goal-free. Shapiro conducts seminars on corporate innovation and creativity and is enthusiastically spreading the goal-free philosophy.
By focusing too heavily on our goals, Shapiro believes we are passing up many other opportunities in the process. According to Shapiro, we should be looking for a significant outcome in everything we do, and it may not be the one we were expecting. He believes this goal-free lifestyle is critical for entrepreneurs because they must have flexibility to change and adapt.
How can an entrepreneur approach this change of thinking? In the book, Shapiro offers eight secrets to living free from the constant pressure of goals.
1. Use a compass, not a map—have a sense of direction, and then let yourself wander and try new things on the way to fulfilling your aspirations.
2. Trust that you are never lost—every seemingly wrong turn is an opportunity to learn and experience new things.
3. Remember that opportunity knocks often, but sometimes softly—while blindly pursuing our goals, we often miss unexpected and wonderful possibilities.
4. Want what you have—measure your life by your own yardstick and appreciate who you are, what you do, and what you have…now.
5. Seek out adventure—treat your life like the one-time-only journey it is and revel in new and different experiences.
6. Become a people magnet—constantly seek, build, and nurture relationships with new people so that you always have the support and camaraderie of others.
7. Embrace your limits—transform your inadequacies and boundaries into unique qualities you can use to your advantage.
8. Remain detached—focus on the present, act with a commitment to the future, and avoid worrying about how things will turn out.

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