A Sixty-Word SZEN Story:
The mediator became extremely irritated and when he lunged at me across the table, it collapsed beneath his weight and the once beautiful marble slab broke into pieces. He then picked up a piece of the jagged tabletop and holding it like a knife, first wildly swiped at me and then raised it as he charged forward. End of negotiations.
Ever have a meeting where it seems like nothing gets accomplished? Sometimes there are times when somehow, the objectives are not communicated or the people that have the power to act never show and the wheels of progress spin and never gain traction. Without a clear purpose or goal it’s difficult, if not impossible, to have a positive outcome. Goals set expectations and determine success. And without a goal, whatever happens happens.
Goals are subsets to our vision and are easy to set once we know the ultimate destination. They provide the markers and milestones we need along the way to determine if we’re staying on the right course. It could be a degree earned, a career chosen, a language to learn or whatever we need and can be short baby steps or huge leaps of faith. And as we progress, we can then check them off of our list as we pursue our destiny in the making. Reaching a goal is good and missing a goal is an outcome to be learned from.
If we don’t examine our goals or our vision from time to time we could find ourselves going through the motions – what looks like activity and positive energy – which really is a mask. In this state we’re not measuring progress, but ticks on the clock. Days run into days and eventually the routine becomes the goal. Disrupting the routine, even if it takes an altercation with an agitated mediator, can serve as a wake up call for a new course. It did for me.
Szenippet: Achievement is not only about reaching the goal; it’s about setting the right goal to reach. We’ll know we’ve set the right one when we can’t wait to get there.