Most personal development and business development books, speakers and coaches talk a lot about ‘goal setting’.
And they also talk a lot about creating a ‘vision’ (or a ‘dream’ in American parlance), behind which there is a ‘purpose’ or a ‘why’.
And then there are ‘missions’ and ‘targets’ and ‘objectives’ – all very ‘military’.
The trouble is that there are a whole set of conflicts and inconsistencies in this commonly used language, and indeed, in the practices that surround it.
A goal is not a dream or vision.
A target is not a goal
And a mission is not a purpose or objective.
But everything gets mixed up – so it’s not surprising that many people have great difficulty in achieving any of these concepts.
The thing is
Goals are finite and relatively ‘small’, whereas visions are infinite (or in-finite) and thus ‘large’.
There are no limits to visions or dreams – except perhaps the (infinite) outer rim of the Universe.
Have you noticed that as you and I develop our vision or dream of the life we would love to live, it keeps getting larger, and larger, and larger . . . ?
There are always more and more things we want to be, do, have and give.
And as we achieve parts of that vision, the dream continues to grow.
But then people keep talking about ‘goals’.
And confusing the ‘goal’ with the vision.
And the subconscious mind, which understands that ‘vision’ is ‘large’, says –
“Hang on, goals are small, like a bullseye on a target, or the small space on the summit of a mountain, how is that the same as that huge vision you’ve just given me? I’m confused now so I’m just going to stop all activity relating to this vision of yours until you explain yourself”
Like the Universe our vision is continually expanding, and like the Universe which consists of millions of stars and planets which have been created and are continually being created, our vision consists of goals which are continually being achieved and conceived.
Each goal that you and I achieve, however small or large, contributes to our vision – but is not our vision in itself.
And as we achieve each goal, the vison doesn’t shrink, or even stay the same size – it continues to grow.
Until we reach the stage where we are ready to move into another dimension.
To help our subconscious mind make sense of this you and I divide our vision up into different domains or missions, and we set goals within each of these as the steps we need to take in order, eventually, to make our overall vision or dream come ‘true’.
But once again, it’s not ‘finite’
While our goals should each have a target and a specific objective which are ‘measurable’ so that we know when we’ve achieved it, there should always be a codicil added –
‘This or something better’
Which removes the limitations of ‘achievability’ or ‘reasonableness’ that are frequently built into goals, especially in a corporate environment (‘Let’s not make the goals too ‘stretchy’ or people will get demotivated when they don’t achieve them’).
You and I can envisage now who we want to be in 3 years, 5 years, maybe 10 years’ time.
We may only have a vague idea of who we are beyond that but it doesn’t matter so long as we set goals as the stars and planets we are creating in the universe of our vision right now.
And put in place the ‘project management’ processes to achieve them – or something better.
Creating our stars and planets one by one will help you and I realised our vision.
Realise (turn into reality) our vison in terms of creating the life that we love now, and realise (come to understand) how our vision is developing further down the line.
By achieving our small, medium and large goals, one by one, not only do we start to enjoy the life we would love to live, but we also give ourselves the strength and confidence to allow ourselves to expand that vision into something even greater.
Have a great week, or something better