Direction over goals

A lot is talked about the importance of goals. And further people who don't reach their goals perhaps are treated either as losers. Not reaching a goal however is seen as something negative in most cases and therefore it happens that people either get fired when not reaching the goals that they were forced to set.

But when setting the goals in many cases problems are already programmed by
  • focusing on the positive effects when the goal is achieved and not thinking of probable negative ones.
  • setting a goal too high by not seeing the stones and traps on the way (which is not necessarily a fault but only the fact that you and maybe nobody else either have tried the way before).
  • not calculating changes of the environment and the effects on your goals.
After goals have been set decisive people often do (nearly) everything to achieve their goals. But the path to a goal might be long and take several years. Some people after years still try to achieve goals although their costs turned out to be far more than the benefit.

You should be flexible. It is not bad in general to set goals but while on the way you should look around heading for slightly different destinations that - while on the way - may turn out to be more attractive or bring you around a big rock that lies on the straight path to your final goal. I am not talking about the many little goals that you set to motivate yourself on the way, I am talking about the big "final" goals.

For me personally when looking for possible goals I find a lot of uncertain properties or only vague benefits that might come along with the reached goal or not. The real feeling and benefit for you personally after climbing on a mountain top cannot be exactly determined before you have been there. Maybe once there, you discover that the efforts were not worth it. Or better:

How much required effort is still ok for reaching a goal with uncertain benefit?

Well, while on a path that you never walked before you should continuously check the situation. While on the path you collect experience and therefore get more know-how about the area you are walking on. This also improves your ability to set realistic and appropriate goals.

In project management the goals are sometimes seen as a "moving target". So during a long term project according to a lot of possible changes in environment, side effects and desires you should review your goals and change them if adequate. So I would say goals are not only a moving target they are also a "changing target". But is a target that continously changes really a target?

I do prefer to set a direction rather than a goal. While walking I can change my direction at any time without trying to find long definitions on my final provable goal.

A direction is more important than a goal.

Related post: Focus by decision, Principles over rules
, The main purpose, Living your opportunities, The golden rule, Replace constraint with freedom, Considerations on decisions.

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