The Creative Process of Goal Achievement
Updated: Jan 17, 2019
Yes today’s topic is about goal setting.
But I really want to emphasize that when we talk about goal setting - but not in the boring way. Not in the traditional way. I’m not talking with you today about SMART goals or anything like that…you can google that. For those of you in the 99-days workroom program, you will be exposed to a lot of that. But here, when we talk about goals setting….at least in my mind and here in these podcast episodes - we are really talking about a creative process. We are talking about the creation of something - to use a fancy word - we are talking about the manifestation of something.
And the reason I want to emphasize this is because I know…..I know that you guys differ in thought and you all differ in your belief system. And I know that some people have embraced fully the strength that mindset has in our success and failures - and I know that others do not - and that’s perfect. That’s ok. I want to jus ask that all of you enter into the consideration of what we are talking about here. Lean into it and try to embrace what I’m telling you from a neutral position.
So I will use that language of goal setting through todays session, but know that we are talking about a creative process of manifesting what we want from our business and our lives. And it really is a very natural process. And once we start seeing it that way, it can change everything.
This is a very important distinction to make. I mean, for many years in my life, and listen, I’m not asking for any pity parties - believe me. But for many years I looked at myself as a failure, when it came to being a goal achiever. Now don’t get me wrong…..I’m not talking about being a failure as a person necessarily. I didn’t have a smooth ride coming up, but I’m not talking about crying a river about the bumps and bruises I got along the way….. I’m simply talking about failing to achieve my goals. I mean especially as an entrepreneur…. I mean you want to talk about failures. God, I can’t even count them. But even before that…even before the business world….I would set a goal to work out and get fit, set relationship goals, financial savings goals….you name it and I probably failed at doing it at some point.
And the interesting thing thats is that when I say I failed, what I really mean is I simply just quit trying.
I don’t honestly ever remember making the conscious decision to quit trying. I can remember making the decisions to not do whatever it was that I was supposed to do that day to achieve my goal, but I never looked at that singular decision as me saying “No” to my life’s dream, OR quitting on my goal…… I mean, I still wanted my goal,…but that singular decision always seemed to lead to that, and sooner or later I quit on my goal…I would stop trying altogether.
But then I was talking with a coaching friend of mine and we were kicking around some thoughts and we both kind of came to the same conclusion (perhaps a question disguised as a conclusion): What if I had it all wrong…what if I was looking at this goal setting thing all wrong. What if I really was not failing when I quit. And at first this is going to sound counter-intuitive at first by stick with me here: What if quitting from time to time was a necessary part of the goal achievement process?
What if that space that I had labeled as quitting, was actually a natural and necessary part of the process in goal achievement, a necessary space, in the creative process for self evaluation and self contemplation, a necessary expression of the Law of Rhythm, rather than a space to continue on with more action.
What if, in that space, I defined as quitting, I was to use that as a time in the creative process to strengthen my inner image? To self-correct.
I mean, isn’t it only quitting if we lose sight of the end goal??
Now listen,…I’m not suggesting that you just start quitting things….but perhaps when you do….the reaction should be a bit different. Your internal dialogue should shift
I mean after all, I never let go of that image of the goal…the image of the dream. And ultimately I began to see them come to fruition…even though I ‘quite” along the way.
And so maybe changing perspective helps. Maybe by seeing goals achievement as a process of creating something instead of achieving something is exactly what we need to do. Stick with me here.
I mean, think about the difference that makes in our internal thought process. (because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about anyway). But, I mean think of an artist who is creating a sculpture from clay. She is working the clay and things are taking shape, but then she sees something that she doesn’t like and so she makes a change….. does she consider it quitting or failing? If she doesn’t give up on the image, is she quitting?
No. But what do most of us do? When we set a goal and stop doing the things that lead to the achievement of that goal, we call it quitting and we drop the vision because we have now entered into self-judgement.
But when we see this thing as a process we know that these valleys exist, and we accept them as a set back and not an end to a journey…things begin to change.
So stick with me for one second here….let’s take a breath and dig into this for just one second. If your just listening to this in the background or maybe your you just kind of passively listing….stay with me. Let’s talk about this for a moment. Let’s look at goals setting and goal achievement - let’s look at the different between that and the process of creating or manifesting.
So what’s the difference? Well, goal setting and goal achievement are a skillset. The have to be learned. There is often a set structure to it. That’s why we talk about smart goals and things like that.
But creating something, the creative process is natural - it is a natural process. Think about it, from the time we take our first breath in this world, we start to imagine and create. And this idea is really universal. ….and what do I mean by that…. Well, for those of you who are science minded you need look no further than what we as humans have created in the world we live in… Look around us….everything you see is a creation. We are just born to do it..we can’t help it. We push the limit, and there seems there is no stopping the creative process in us as a species. For the more religious minded - and believe me I am not here to get into religion, but I do want to speak to everyone here. So for those who are more religion minded, it is said (or written) that we are actually created in the image of who? the creator - whoever you believe that might be.
So listen, what better way to start to wrap our head around the goal setting and achieving process than to shift the way we look at it….to really start to enter into the consideration that goal achievement is actually a creative process….a process that you don’t have to train for….a natural process. The idea that you have nothing new to learn to be able to achieve your goals. I tell everyone in the 99-days program (and it is even in our established ethos), that success is a sequence that starts with a step. It’s a creative sequence, a process. And it is a powerful idea. The idea that you have everything you need right now to begin to create your objectives. To take a step. What a powerful idea….and one that most people miss out on - They are simply using the wrong model. They are in the model of self-judgement.
See in the “learning to ride a bicycle model” for example, there is a lot of falling down. You were born with the potential to ride the bike, but you had to learn the skill. The difference is when you were learning to ride a bike you had not yet fully developed your ego judgment center, you know, that part of your self image that seems to track and keep record of every failure you have made.
When you were young you could suspend the self judgment and stay connected to your desire, but as you grew older, your awareness, your perception, and your self image changed.
Pay attention to the linguistics of a child and you will hear and see it…when they fall off the bike they say, “This stupid bike it won’t…..” and compare that to an adult learner, “I’m so stupid”.
So there are really three key phases or steps here:
1. First, make the shift from looking at goal setting and achieving as something you cannot do, or are a failure at doing, and begin to see that goal setting and achieving are part of a natural process of creation and creating, of manifestation and manifesting, and you were born, preprogrammed, as a perfect creator and manifestor.
2. Second, you have to envision and define what you want to create.
3. Finally, begin to detach from the outcome, separating your self value from your result, the sculptor is not the statue - and you are not your result.
Not only will you feel 1000% more confident, 1000 times happier, 1000 times freer, you will create, or manifest, what you want in your world 1000 times faster.
So let’s talk a moment about PURPSOSE.
Now, the reason we define our purpose is so that we can consciously direct this creative process of goal achievement AT something.
Those of you who have followed my content for a while, have heard me mention an author by the name of James Allen who wrote back in the early 1900s - and I love reading authors from back then because they were meticulous about their wording. Every word mean exactly what they were trying to convey. Anyways, James Allen is fantastic author who wrote about how the way we see things and how we define our purpose impacts external conditions.
Which is kind of insightful just in and of itself. I mean most people belief their external environment defines how they think, but in reality it is the other way around. I will get into that topic in a separate sesson, but Allen also wrote about working towards a purpose. And Allen wrote one of my favorite books, “As a Man Thinketh” - and in it he wrote:
“Until thought is linked with purpose, there is no intelligent accomplishment. With the majority, the barque of thought is allowed to ‘drift’ upon the ocean of life.
Allen says: Aimlessness is a vice, and such drifting must not continue for him who would steer clear of catastrophe and destruction. They who have no central purpose in their life fall an easy prey to petty worries, fears, troubles and self-pitying.”
I mean, there is a ton to think about there. I mean first he says “Until thought is linked with purpose, there is no intelligent accomplishment”. In other words until thought and purposes are linked, any accomplishment is not guided or directed by intellect, or the power of knowing - and when this happens we end up with unknown causes to known effects - what most people would call bad luck.. I want to say that one more time - when our thoughts are not linked with purpose, we end up with unknown causes of known effects. In other words we have no idea why things are going the way they are in our world! As Allen say….we drift upon the ocean of life! We fall easy prey to worries, fears, troubles and self-pity. And this is sooooo true.
In another part of the same book Allen writes….
Having conceived of his purpose, a man should mentally mark out a straight pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right nor the left. Doubts and fears should be rigorously excluded; they are disintegrating elements, which break up the straight line of effort, rendering it crooked, ineffectual, useless. Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplished anything, and never can. They always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do, and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in.
And this its true….if we have a purpose we have to walk towards it. As soon as we start looking around to see what other distractions (or excuses) are around - doubt and fear slide right in. In the words of Allen “doubt and fear creep in”. And he uses those words very intentionally. They creep in. They are cunning. They disguise themselves as circumstance, procrastination, delay, reason, you name it. Doubt and fear often don’t present themselves as doubt and fear. The rare cunning.But when we have purpose and we rigorously exclude doubt and fear….everything changes.
So let’s start with Purpose. Your purpose is the filter through which you will direct this creative power. It is why you do, what you do, so you can create what you feel is your highest calling or highest good.
There is a blog post on my website called “The Handle” where I talk about my purpose and how I was finally able to see it.
But Many people will get hung up on this. It’s not uncommon to feel that you don’t know what your life’s purpose is….remember this is a skill to be developed, like riding the bike.
And remember, failing discovering your purpose is part of achieving it, not a reflection of inability. The character to achieve is a muscle. It get gets broken down, and as it heals it rebuilds itself stronger.
So don’t worry about getting it exactly right - right now. When you first learned to ride a bike you got on the bike and you guessed how it would work for you, knowing you weren’t going to get it right the first time, but you could always ask for help and keep learning from the last fall.
So if you don’t know how to achieve your purpose right now, that’s okay, guess! At least your decisions will be guided by some kind of “knowing” - by your intellect.
Let me give you an example. My purpose is to be a person in people’s life that they look back upon as being a significant, positive influence in their life or career.
So that’s part of my purpose, now there are many opportunities that I am presented with that are not in harmony with my purpose - whether through my consulting company Leaderstone, or the coaching business or even in my personal life - and hey, they may be great opportunities, but if they are not in harmony with my purpose I take a pass. …
Your purpose is like the sun; everything revolves around it.
And so I thought it important to talk about this stuff today because it really sets the stage for goals setting.
As part of the 99-Days program, we talk about goal setting and how we so often sell ourselves short. And there are definite, tangible things we do to sabotage our goal achievement. I talked about one of them at the beginning here today - the fact that we look at goal achievement as a zero sum game rather than a creative process. And there are other things we do as well: You know, we set the bar low, get attached to the outcome, we get attached to the plan, we worry to much about the “how” and so we don’t even move. I mean there is so much there….
But without the purpose…..without what we talked about today….we can’t provide direction for out goals. And so I would ask everyone listening to my voice right now to sit quietly and think about your purspose.
If you were gone tomorrow, what would you want people to remember you for? What impact would you want them to say you had on them - both personally and professionally. And commit it to writing.
And I know many of you listening to this are coaches and consultants and I’m sure your goals are similar to mine. I mean that is why I created the 99-days program for you guys to begin with - to help you fulfill that purpose. And listen, I hope each and every one of you joins us in the program if you have not already - when you’re ready to take a step in our sequence, but even if you don’t….. spend the time to lean into what I’ve shared with you today and start to discover your purpose
I want to challenge each and every one of you to do that. Ok?
Until then….win the week. Take care
If you are ready to start creating the coaching business you have envisioned, you can start by 1. Joining our free facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/99Days.Roundtable
2. Checking out our next free training here: http://bit.ly/JamSession99
3. Checking out our 99-days to Freedom Program here: www.99-days.com
Inspired by one of my mentors, Paul Martinelli