Chris Guillebeau, who has authored four well-known books about goal-setting and purpose, recalls discovering some old notes, written about the time he was embarking on a new career as a writer.
He looks back fondly at his early goals – to visit every country on Earth, publish his first book about purpose, and become a public speaker. All of these he has achieved, becoming recognized worldwide in the process.
What he found interesting is that, alongside the goals he had outlined in these notes that were still in progress, many he had also forgotten about or dropped altogether. He let slide his PhD ambitions, for instance, along with his promise to learn new languages and run the Boston Marathon.
Yet he doesn’t look back at any of these “failures” with regret. Rather, he accepts that his time was probably better-spent doing other things.
So, you might be thinking, this personal reverie is all well and good, but how does it affect me?
Well, at the heart of his new book Born for This is a simple idea: successful people don’t always follow a set path in life. They’re happy to adjust, rework or even completely drop their goals completely, if their situation calls for it.
This is a lesson worth remembering.
Of course, you should always follow your dream goals with all your heart and energy. But, if you find your interest waning, don’t despair. It might just be the wrong fit for you in your current circumstances. We’re often pounded with the idea, from the self-help coaches and motivational experts that crowd the internet, that we need to adhere to our goals with an almost super-human strength. To never give up! But perhaps there is, as Chris suggests, a more balanced view to take.
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