Balancing Achievement And Happiness In Seeking Personal Success
Being goal oriented is one possible asset in achieving success in any field. It does not ensure success, but I have no doubt that it can be a very useful tool. I used it as a development tool when I was an employee, and for the past ten years have set my own personal objectives in whatever it is that I have done for my own business.
Setting goals and objectives is like setting out a route on a map before you set off on a journey. To get from A to D you have to go via B and C first, and you may set target times for those interim destinations in order to arrive at D in the allotted time. Business and personal goals can be much the same.
You may, for an example, start a business whose products you want to be distributed nationally, say the whole of the UK. But to achieve that, you may recognize that you first have to establish a local market, and that can become your first goal. Next, when you have perfected the distribution locally, your goal becomes a regional distribution network, say South East England. As each goal is successfully achieved, it lays the foundation for the next. Distribution to all of England, then Wales and so on until the whole of the UK is covered.
A business, of course, has many essential elements, all of which can be subject to their own goals. Financial goals are important, as are product development and market share goals. They are part of a planning process which acknowledges the fact that you cannot go from nowhere, to being the top company in any market, without various essential achievements along the way.
I like to compare goal setting to building a skyscraper. That involves very detailed planning based on a vision by the architect, and then the building taking shape from the foundations up. Each floor is not completed until the structure below is sound and ready. Can you put up a building roof first? No, of course not. You would need to mix extreme impatience with ultimate stupidity to do such a thing. This comparison is worth remembering as you plan for your own success, whether it is as an employee, as a business owner, or in your personal life. Plan, make some firm foundations, then build one floor at a time. Each floor can be a goal; the completed skyscraper your vision of your own success.
Being goal oriented, though, does set its own traps for you. Focusing entirely on the next goal can turn it into an obsession that starts to override your personal life, and eventually your own happiness. Any career or business goals do need to be in balance with your personal existence. There is not much point in achieving each of your goals, when each one takes you further from your children, your spouse and your friends. You may end up with your skyscraper complete, but no occupants with whom to share. The end result could be worthless as you find yourself estranged from those who were close to you.
It is possible to marry your goals with your family and your own happiness. When you envision what you are trying to achieve, try to incorporate in that vision your closest family and friends. Try to include in that vision the way of life you will want to emerge at the time each separate goal is achieved, and when the final objective is complete. If your personal life becomes an integral part of the objectives and goals you set, then the end result will naturally be balanced, and you will be far happier for it; so will your family.