This Ought To Do It

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I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want. – Mark Twain

We often don’t have a clear, compelling, and commonly-understood (by all the people who matter) set of goals for our businesses or our lives. This makes it rather difficult for us to achieve what we most desire. But picking such goals can seem impossible.

The truth is that it’s only confusing. All we need is a place to start. Here’s a pretty perfect place to start: happiness, freedom, and growth for yourself and those you come in contact with.

That ought to do it, ya?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Tom Simpson cc

Success Is a Way, Not a Goal

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Success
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The sages tell us to have goals but not attach to them. They warn us that having too much focus on our goals comes from some subtle belief that achieving goals is difficult or impossible. That subtle belief promotes a struggle-laced busyness which makes goals difficult or impossible to achieve. But what to do instead?

People who are successful have learned that success is a way, not a goal. They achieve goals by being successful. That is they set clear and compelling goals, they choose to go win-win-or-don’t-play with everyone, they maintain a high-buzz attitude, and they deftly select the best things to get done. They don’t stress or struggle. And their goals mostly come to fruition.


In your corner,


PS: If you catch yourself thinking something like, “When I have this, then I’ll be successful” or “I need that to be successful, happy, free, etc.,” think again.

Today’s photo credit: green ray wood via photopin (license)

Picking a Dream

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, What=Compelling Focus
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Achieving a dream requires that we first commit whole-heartedly to that dream.

But–oh–we hesitate. We’re afraid that if we pick one dream we’ll either mess it up or miss out on other, better ones that we just don’t know about yet. Hesitation leads to lack of commitment which leads to dreams unfulfilled. Bleah!

Here’s the solution: commit anyway. No commitment to a dream is cast in iron. We can add to it and modify it as we go. Should we stumble or see a better path, we can always course-correct.

Pick and go!


In your corner,


PS: If any dream we are considering promises to lead us somewhere delightful, then that’s the one to commit to.


Today’s photo credit: Lisa Ruokis cc


Monumental Goals Only Look Scary

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Committing to a monumental goal is a fast route to success…if we can get past the fear. Monumental goals seem scary because we cannot see how to possibly achieve them.

But that’s the point. If we can see how to get there, then it’s an incremental not a monumental goal.

When we commit to something that is just this side of impossible, we are agreeing to open ourselves to the new people, approaches, and insights that will get us there.


In your corner,


PS: Scary? It only seems that way because we haven’t done it before. Taking everything a step at a time, we can do it, whatever it turns out to be.

PPS: We can select a monumental goal by choosing something that is 10 times larger than we normally would have chosen. If we end up only at 8 or 5 or 3 times larger, it is still worth it, yes?


Today’s photo credit: Amy Meredith cc

big small

What Sort of Goals are Best? Both!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
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There are two types of goals: incremental goals and monumental goals. Incremental goals ask us to work a bit harder, to focus a bit more, to iron out inefficiencies. When we commit to monumental goals, we face things that seem nearly impossible.

Incremental goals help us mine and perfect. Monumental goals help us reset and redefine. Think 20% revenue growth or 5% fewer highway fatalities and making renewable energy ten times cheaper or raising a billion people out of poverty.

Which are better? Both.

Achieving monumental goals creates new spaces for incremental goals to work. Achieving incremental goals creates a stable, safe environment from which to launch monumental goals.

Which do you feel most now like achieving?


In your corner,


Today’s photo credit: Rod Waddington via photopin cc


How to Build a Truly Compelling Goal

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, What=Compelling Focus
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Success demands a clear, compelling, and commonly understood vision or goal. Such a goal answers the big question, “Why?” We can probably write a clear goal. And we can include whoever matters as we build it so that the goal is commonly understood. But to make it compelling our goal needs to satisfy these criteria:

  1. It comes from within. A compelling goal is not something we derive from market data or what other people think. It comes from within us, our team, and our organization.
  2. It uses our talents. Our vision or goal must take advantage of what we as a team/organization are good at doing.
  3. It matters. Our goal or vision must resonate with our values or care-abouts.
  4. It meets our needs. If a goal doesn’t generate a valuable return, we will quickly run out of time, energy, and resources to achieve it.
  5. It meets a need for others. Our goal or vision solves a problem for other people or groups of people. And they will need to see that we understand them and the problem before they let us help them.
  6. It is big. Big goals seem scary because we can’t see how to achieve them. And that’s good. We challenge ourselves to find new ways. We learn, grow, feel vitally alive, and have a whale of a time along the way.

In our hearts we know that anything less won’t work.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Denis Hawkins cc


Feeling Rudderless?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
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Achieving anything meaningful requires both a clear desire for something new and a complete acceptance of whatever is happening now.

Anything else leaves us rudderless.


In your corner,


PS: “Complete acceptance” means we do not attack the situation or its proponents. No complaints, no defensiveness, no arguing, no fear, no dwelling.

PPS: And can someone please teach this to the folks in Congress and Parliament? Many thanks.


Today’s photo credit: Benjamin Disinger cc

high note

Come At Your Goals from Above

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Success
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If singers try to hit a very high note by reaching up with their voices, they will likely stretch, squeeze, and strain. They are afraid that they will not hit the note. If they hit it, it won’t be pretty or fun. Instead, singing coaches encourage singers to hit the highest notes by coming at the note from above, that is, by preparing to hit an even higher note then confidently landing on the desired note.

We can apply this lesson in our goals for this year. It’s easier to hit a desired goal by preparing to hit an even higher one.


In your corner,


PS: Looking forward to hearing your songs of success this year.

PPS: The sages have always maintained that it is easier to make $10 million than $100,000.

PPPS: I am not encouraging “stretch goals.” Those are stress-inducing, feel-bad forms of torture. They come from the bottom, like the non-confident singer. Feel good and prepare for a bigger success. You will hit your desired note and may even succeed further than you had imagined you could.


Today’s photo credit: Laura cc

which way

Need I Ask Which Way?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Will=Our inner game
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“This needs to happen so I am going to worry/push/avoid/hope/drive hard to make it happen. Then I’ll be safe/happy/connected/abundant/free.”


“I want a work- and home-life of safety, happiness, connection, abundance, and freedom. It feels pretty dang good to envision what that life is/will be like. Wow. Now I jump in and act as inspired.”

Need I ask which way will get us what we want, faster?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: drinks machine cc


Your Secret Dream

Posted Leave a commentPosted in What=Compelling Focus
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Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Sometimes, we avoid saying what we really want at work and in life because the dream is so precious. We try to protect it from the harshness of the world, we hold it close for fear we may fail and damage it, we put it high on a shelf so no one can criticize us or it.

But that’s not how these things work.

Your dream is both precious and extremely strong. It is unfazed by criticism; it accepts the input to improve. It thrives in the light of the day and inspires you and as many others as needed to see it to reality.

So what is it? What do you long to do? Pull it down off the shelf and let’s have a look.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: -Reji cc