Discover more from Supra Model
SCREW GOALS AND QUIT POSITIVE THINKING
It is a new year. For me, there will be no new goals as they may inflict serious harm. The more you daydream about your goals, the less…
It is a new year. For me, there will be no new goals as they may inflict serious harm. The more you daydream about your goals, the less likely you are to reach them according to Gabriele Oettingen’s research. Positive thinking is counter-productive. Also, goals describe states and while a certain state may be desirable to reach there is no world in which you will be maintaining any state, as everything is changing constantly. Worse, more often than not, people set the wrong goal or set the bar too low.
How do you reach beyond your imagination? Screw goals. Instead identify your valued direction and start measuring change. Done right, you may end up in a better place than you could’ve imagined. For this, change is your friend.
While not new (Panta Rei!) studying change is á la mode. Calculus, the mathematical study of continuous change, is a key component in Machine Learning’s ability to make predictions of the future. It is powerful to pay attention to change and the rate of change. It will make you get where you are going, faster than anticipated.
Wait. Where are you going? Without a goal we need to identify our direction and for this we need to borrow a concept from ACT, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. In ACT, the objective is to be present and acceptant to what life brings us and “move toward valued behaviour” through identifying your “Valued Direction”. True brilliance as it does not presume any ideal state or destination that you may fail to reach. Instead, the focus is on the direction that you value.
At work, I have made use of this combination. In the team I lead, we identified our valued direction (greater independence, measured by growing e-com sales) and started measuring change and celebrating milestones passed rather than goals achieved and using Oettingen’s research we have continuously identified obstacles slowing our rate of change down to find strategies around them. With my dream team, we ended up with sales 5–6x those of earlier years and growth is still picking up.
I’ll try it everywhere this year, even at home. Screw goals, quit positive thinking, find your valued direction, and measure the rate of change.