Goals are results, outcomes. When you chase a dream, goals are the steps you take to get there, the momentary rewards for your commitment. But the best performers are so caught up in the pursuit of their dreams that they barely notice stops along the way. The problem with goals is that they divert your focus to the little things; goals trap you in the details, most of which are a chore and meaningless in and of ythemselves. With a goal dominating your mind, you lock yourself into the strategy, rather than your skills, knowledge, creativity, vision, and problem-solving ability. Discoveries—major scientific ones as well as turns in personal interest are unlikely to happen when you're busy trying to follow a prescribed route. One reason why movies pull us into their world so easily—why they're so psychologically captivating—is that they skip the minutiae of daily life, only stopping to feature its dramas. You are not likely to see Julia Roberts getting in the shower three times to tackle a bad hair day or Tom Cruise brushing his teeth before the start of a big action sequence. Goal setting will focus your life more on the details. Dream setting will help you stay focused on the drama.
Typical goals are a promotion, a raise in salary, losing ten pounds, bench pressing three hundred, finishing your MBA. Goals are steps to get from point A to point B. While goal setting can be a useful short-term tool, it limits you to reaching point B, which your mind fixed on external results. Such short-term planning gets you thinking too mathematically—stetting timetables, measuring your progress, always thinking about the next step. Dreams on the other hand, are the way you live your life, the thrill you feel every day as you go about pursuing something; the only limit is your imagination. Chasing dreams is a wide-open process; it's about allowing yourself a broad path to success, finding adventure, opening new doors. Pure High Performance Mindset.
All of us have heard like a broken record "you need to have goals." "You need a five year plan." Dr. John Elliot assures that you don't, he's a college professor who has talked to many smart and ambitious young people who are letting their goals dictate what they do:
" I will major in finance, spend three years at a big investment firm in New York City, then quit to start my own consulting company, which I will grow for ten years, sell, then use the capital to start an even bigger C-corp that I can take public, make a pile of dough, and retire at forty-five. The general reaction to that kind of ambition itinerary is "That kid's going to be very successful!" My diagnosis: a future case of burnout, or at least unhappiness or emptiness"
It's a myth that success is about setting the right goals and work hard to achieve them. The path to the top is rarely so direct. And the most inspired stories (coincidentally belonging to the happiest people) are about achievements that stemmed from unexpected career twists, events, and discoveries of people open to all the possibilities that life may offer them.
When Colin Powell decided to make a career of the army, he definitely was not plotting to route to being a four-star general, never mind advising presidents Reagan and George W. Bush, or becoming Supreme Commander of NATO and chairman of the Joint Chiefs; when he retired from the military, he was not mapping out his route to becoming the next Secretary of State with the further goal of invading Iraq to top;e his former nemesis, Saddam Hussein. If he had set any one of those posts as his goal, he might have not put himself on the way of divergent opportunities—the opportunities at the real heart of his success.
A dream need not excite anyone else on the planet. One person's dream can be another's nightmare. Some dream of being president of the United States; for others, including successful politicians, the White House seems like a lose-lose situation—shouldering the problems of the world along with attacks from critics on both the right and the left. Find your dream, not your mother's or father's or significant other but your own dream, and then hold on to it, or find a combination of things that juice you. Some people will need more than one dream to make life interesting.
In good health,
Efren Guerrero Rodriguez
High Performance Personal Training