When setting goals – What is the shortest distance between two points?
A straight line.
Doesn’t life tend to throw us curve balls?
Right when you think you know exactly what you need to do, and by when – curve ball, swing and a miss.
When Setting Goals and developing project plans in business people often assume they can get there in a straight line, that there will be no curve balls.
So when a curve ball happens, how quickly can you recover and get back on track?
Getting back on track, refocused on the outcome, making the necessary adjustments is key.
Setting Goals on Autopilot
Did you know an airplane’s autopilot spends 99% of its time off course? That’s right – off course.
The autopilot is constantly correcting and trying to bring itself on course, as it does it drifts from one side of the line to the other – zig zagging its way to the destination.
In his groundbreaking work “Psycho-Cybernetics,” Dr. Maxwell Maltz presents “zig zagging” and “course correction” as the entire basis for human achievement; that hardly anybody gets to any goal via a straight line, but instead, by moving, bumping up against something, moving a different way, bumping, zigging, zagging, but moving, moving, moving.
So what is the side effect or strategic byproduct one would get from this zig zagging approach?
The answer is you don’t know when you start out on the journey what you are going to learn, and what will happen as a result, but often the side effect of taking action towards the goal can be just as good as achieving the goal itself.
Did I realize when I was setting my goal to become a Black Belt and started the long process of achieving it that:
- My wife and I would find the perfect house and end up living in it because of setting that goal?
- That I would develop and cultivate a new set of friends spread around the world?
Absolutely not, that was the furthest thing from my mind.
When I started it was simply “I had better get to class and learn and work at it if I want to get there”.
Did I get thrown some curve balls in the process? You bet I did. We changed the requirements for Black Belt at least three times during the journey. I could have quit because of those changes; however, achieving that goal was far more important to me, and that pulled me through those challenges.
This is why you will hear some people talk about enjoying the journey on the way to the destination, because lots of good things can happen along the way.
I hope you are flying towards a destination, not just circling around waiting for something good to happen to you while you go through your regular routine.
Setting Goals – Pick a new destination, develop a big why for motivation when the curve balls come your way. Enjoy the journey as you take your zig zagging actions towards that finish line.
If you are interested in giving your autopilot some assistance then check out what the Goal Evolution Groups have to offer in terms of worksheets, membership and coaching.