How to become Goal-Hungry
Why are goals so meh for most adults? I’m not convinced I know why but I sure do notice it. And bristle against it. Try it at your next company event or family get-together! When asked, “so, what goals are you working on in your life”, most will laugh. The vast majority of people I ask shrug, chuckle as if I’ve made a joke. They give vague - “I’m always trying to work on my health” - or even fantastical answers - “winning the lottery?!”. First off, I like to apply the Yoda-principle: do or do not; there is no try. Next, if you assume something will come from the outside to solve all your problems (i.e. a rich aunt, a lottery windfall, your stocks go all Silicon Valley, a knight and a white horse), then you are giving up control over yourself and your life. It’s so interesting to me how people respond to the question, “what goals are your working on in your life RIGHT NOW”. When they realize that I am truly asking what they are working on to make a significant improvement in their life, it’s a showstopper. Too many don’t want to even continue down this line of conversation. Although I’m tempted to ask, why this is the case, I’m not sure that an answer would actually help change the situation. Instead, what might help more is to foster experiences for them in what I call goal-hunger.
Goal-hunger is that spark-worthy and driven sense of wanting so badly to achieve something vital to in our life that it practically consumes our every waking thought. You know you have goal-hunger when someone asks you what you’re working on in life and you practically burst at the seems to tell them! Vicarious experience, for all it’s value-add to the collective human experience as a key way in which we learn how to do (or not do) things, doesn’t help us find our goal-hunger, I’d suggest. Instead, what helps is interacting with people with current goal-hungry experiences in order to break out of our own vague or fantastical notions. We need a few contemporaries to share with, learn from, be cheered on by and to cheer on. The hunger, energy, drive, and spark of this kind of community is dampened by a collective meh if we are not careful. You see, there’s a different energy when those around you are working hard on something dear to them, just as you are, when you breathe the same air as those driving their efforts in a singular direction. Your goals don’t even have to be the same and probably shouldn’t be lest we copy each other’s reality. Just the heartbeat and soul, that yearning and focus needs to be the same amongst us. “Oh, you’re working on finding a job in the health and physical wellness industry because you are impassioned to rehabilitate people at risk of heart disease like you have? Wow, tell me about that and how that’s going for you. I’m intrigued.” A collective meh will get in the way. But, what’s a solution?
I’m intrigued by this relatively new Meetup trend and the era of broker/curator businesses. There’s a collectivist mindset in these platforms and approaches that is equally entrepreneurial, innovative, generative and speaks to the face of the future. But since everyone has different life experiences, differing viewpoints and different values, and thus, different goals, could the spirit of goal-hunger be the platform itself to generating a community? These goal-hungry people will engage in a community that behaves like open-source learning meets crowdsourced solutions. The very energy of the community is what you come for. If a goal-setting meetup were an option as a way to break free from meh mentality and surround oneself with goal-focused, goal-hungry people, what would that do for you and your goals in life? A group that’s sort of “Got Goals? Now What?” where the only membership criteria is to have OR want to have a worthy goal in your life to pursue, catch and positively influence you and what you care about. Hey! I’m kind of liking that idea. What if…?
What do you think?
Kelly Johnson, PCC Executive Coach