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Very Scary Goals

Goals can be a lot scarier than ghouls! Why? Because goals (and maybe ghouls, too) are often based on what others say we should be or do, and on definitions of success that aren’t ours. Means goals can be the scariest goals of all.

Means goals focus on achieving one thing so you can do or be another. An obvious example is the common path of getting good grades so you can get into a good college, graduating from a good school so you can get a good job, find a great partner, have a family, and so on until you finally retire and do what you want to do. An end goal focuses on what you want to do with your life from the beginning.

Means goals keep you doing something SO you can do something else. Working 80 hours a week SO you can go on a great vacation and spend time with your family is a means goal. Working less each week and spending time with your family every day is an end goal (if that's an end you desire).

End goals are focused on what you want to experience, what and how you want to contribute to the world, and how you want to grow as a person. Pursuing end goals seldom feels like work. Achieving them leads to new experiences, new opportunities to grow and contribute, and new learning, pulling you even deeper into your life.

I chased a means goal following a lay-off during the great recession. Personal and community networks produced a few good leads, but those jobs went to younger folks with more digital savvy or other skills and experience. Job boards were worse. All the openings required expertise and training I lacked. I needed a job! Why didn't I study computer science or finance or become a physical therapist? Nobody wanted me.

Then I realized I was looking for a job to make money instead of looking for something fun and fulfilling that paid the bills. In other words, I was pursuing a means goal (find a job to make money) instead of an end goal (find work that allowed me to share and use my unique skills and talents as a way to contribute and connect to others).

This led directly to experiences and training that brought me to my new passion of coaching. If aligning your goals, and your life, with your passions interests you, let’s talk. I’d love to hear more about what you’re called to be and do, and your triumphs and challenges along that path. If working together as coach and client appeals, that’s fine, but not the point. I look forward to your talking with you.

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