Let’s stop setting Goals…

Why we set up Goals? A simple answer is to be successful. If you are a sports-person winning the sport. If an entrepreneur then achieving a revenue level or key metrics.  And if a student aiming to excel in exams to get a good career.

At the same time, I am sure our fellow sports-person, business competitors, or classmates are also setting similar goals.

But only a few of us achieves these goals.  So what differentiates between setting Goals and achieving them –

The Systems(Process) is the differentiator, which we build consistently not Goals.

Here are few problems with setting Goals:

Winners and losers have the same Goals

Every Olympian participating wants to win gold, but only a few wins it. Every candidate wants to get a good job. And if successful and unsuccessful people share the same goals, then the goal by itself cannot be the differentiating factor between the winner and the losers.

It’s with the systems, the process that makes winners achieve their goals.

Achieving the goal brings only a momentary change

Imagine you worked hard and got your dream job, but after joining you got complacent in the job. As your performance drops, you start feeling frustrated and if you don’t mend ways soon you may have to leave the job.

Achieving the goal only changes our life momentarily. Maintaining that level or as we aspire more we need to be always performing or learning at that level, in fact, keep increasing our bar.

So Goal even if its achieved, is temporary, not a long-term achievement. 

Goal restricts our happiness and limits motivation

Once I reach my goal, then I’ll be happy. The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone. 

In this case happiness was always something for future self to enjoy. 

When all the hard work is focused on a particular goal, motivation to keep working hard drops once we achieve it. Whereas in life there is always the next level of aspirations.

If we enjoy the systems, the process we will be much happier and will be consistently achieving success.

Goals without Systems makes us dependent on luck

Without proper systems, we may achieve a goal or may not there is no surety. In the end, it’s about performance but unless we are sure about ourselves, it’s left to chance. Mentally it is accounted as being lucky if we achieve the goal or unlucky if not.

Edison’s failed 10,000 times before perfecting his electric bulb, do you think he was dependent on luck or goal setting? If he would not have followed the process diligently, again and again, it’s not possible to achieve such a feat.

Even luck favours Systems and Consistent hard work. 

So enjoy the process, build the systems and don’t worry about goals, it will follow you around.

Let’s be honest, learning isn’t fun…

Learning is hard

Learning is hard, it requires self-discipline to learn. But its a misconception today that learning should be fun & interesting and if it’s not fun, skip it and move on to something different. In fact, this is a big problem for the coming generation as they misconstrue that learning can only be when it’s interesting.

Whereas we know that initial attraction to a subject or activity is very different from actual learning. Actual learning requires hard work, self-discipline, and a lot of patience.

Learn what you are interested in, really?

As a student, if we only learn what we are interested in then we will never learn anything. Think about it, what have you learned in Maths? Guitar? any Subjects? unless you are pushed to learn, practice & kept working on it on regular basis.

Yes, the initial attraction may help to jump into it mainly because we get motivated by seeing toppers, seniors(parents), or successful people in that field but that’s just the first attraction, as soon as we dive in, if we don’t endure hard work and be patient we cannot learn & succeed.

As the saying goes

All “overnight” successes take 10 years of learning

– Jeff buzos

Yes, there are rare individuals (Gifted ones) who are born with deep interests in one area but still if they do not pursue it with willpower, they haven’t been successful. 

Another problem with “Learning what you are interested in”, is that our interest changes as we grow. It changes based on our environment, surroundings, and peers.

So if I truely follow my interests, I will not learning anything, as interests keeps changing.

Even kids today get too many choices in school. Today an eleven-year-old student is given many different options to choose from, Chess, Guitar (or any musical instrument), Cricket, Gymnastics, whatnot, you name it and it’s available in schools. Are they able to learn? Nope. Because of initial dabbling, they know a bit but couldn’t learn or perform it even to a basic level. 

Once the kid crosses an age, by giving choices and allow switching between them they develop the tendency to shift goals as soon as the hard part of learning starts. These choices and switching, also lead to Attention deficit, they cannot focus on one single thing for long.

I would rather that today’s schools let them focus on one thing and teach them to learn the subject or activity at a much deeper level. And be honest with them that learning isn’t fun.

When you know how to learn one thing, then you get good at learning, which goes a long way in life to achieve success.

The most successful people in the world are always lifelong learners. They fully understand that their level of education directly determines their quality of life.

-Jim Rohn

So what we can do as a student (If want to learn) or teacher, parent, or seniors guiding kids to learn?

Do lot of research on what you want to learn and why:

Before choosing any activity or subject understand what drives you and how it can be achieved by taking this path, do a lot of introspection. Do research on the subject or topic, the best part is in today’s digital era it’s easier to find a lot of details about any topics and then choose.

The end goal is to understand what you will achieve or envisage what you will become if you go down this path. In fact, this also helps keep us motivated to follow the path.

For kids, parents/teachers can help them envisage their dreams. Also what & how they want to do way forward and decide.

Apply brain as well as heart before choosing to learn.

Talk to seniors/experts in that field if possible:

Talk to seniors, teachers, or relatives who have already achieved a level and understand from them. What they feel after going thru the journey in this field? That will help you in deciding whether it suits you or not.

Once decided don’t switch or allow switching:

Learning anything big or small will have hurdles and need hard work, but unless we cross them we will not learn. Also apart from the subject or topic, the biggest learning is “How to learn”, which is very different for every individual, there is no set path. But continuous learning is the most important skill you need to develop for a successful life.

Environment impacts a lot:

Lastly get a good Mentor & Peers who are learning the same, this is the biggest reason to get into a good college, school, or community which has a renowned faculty and environment for that subject or activity. Moreover, this gives you a social nudge (Peers, Collagaes) to be motivated and keep learning and growing in the chosen field.

Follow a routine for learning:

Set a daily routine to learn, study, and practice. This will help make learning much easier than just random bouts of learning doses. Make it a habit, so that at later stages, if you want to learn something similar, you can just replace the current subject with a new one and fit into that habit…

Overall Learning is critical for achieving success, happiness, and freedom in life. So let’s ensure we learn “how to learn” and impart our coming generation(s) how to learn the best way possible.

Always remember:

“Whatever advancements happen the way of learning will be the same” 

Anonymous

Joy of Learning…

We all know that thrilling feeling of learning something new — a new recipe, a new word in a foreign language, a new chord on the guitar. And yet, so many of us go through our workdays on autopilot without setting aside time to learn something new.

How can we introduce the joy of learning into our professional life?

Let’s start by taking control of what we read to better ourselves and our careers. Pay attention to what genuinely interests us, rather than relying on a website’s algorithm for recommendations or just going thru the flow.

Let’s also keep an open mind about what “counts” as learning — we can find unexpected opportunities in movies, conversations with friends, speeches, or social media feeds.

Finally, we can keep a list of what we’ve learned lately, how we’ve used that new knowledge, and what we hope to learn in the future. We can stay focused and motivated by tracking progress and setting new goals.

Taking the above steps will help us take both professional & personal learning and development into our own hands — and have some fun with it.

Do it now or never…

Remember the thing you were deeply passionate about, what you felt you were “made for”? You still have what it takes to do it.

The truth is that no one holds the answers for your life; you must find them for yourself.

You can either dismiss this truth and end up filling your life with regret. Or you can embrace this truth and fill your life with learnings that make memorable and happy.

What will you choose? – Do it now or never

Learning Tools…

How good are you at Google Sheet?

Can you write a query? A filter? Do you know how to install add-on tools to trim extra cells or create a mail merge? If you wanted to learn those things, do you know how to find out how?

It’s an interesting litmus test.

Google Sheet is not particularly difficult to use.

You can explore it in private, with no fear of screwing up. And it’s widely applicable to just about any career or community work you might choose to do.

If you get good at a type of technology, you’ll find yourself using it often. On the other hand, if you decide that you’re somehow untalented at it (which is untrue) or don’t take the time, then you’ll have sacrificed leverage and confidence that were offered to you.

Of course, it’s not just Sheets, or the web, or even computers. It’s a posture of possibility when it comes to the tools we’re able to use.

We can ignore the tools that we have access to. We can fear them. We can understand them.

(And, after we understand them, we’re able to hire someone else to use them on our behalf.)

We can even master them.

How to Spark Your Own Creativity…

When our daily routines are geared toward barreling through a to-do list, it can be hard to set the right conditions for creativity.
Fortunately, there is a time-tested approach — that’s also quite simple — for generating creative ideas.

First, gather raw materials in your area of interest. This could mean anything from articles you’ve been meaning to read to the browser tabs you’ve left open on your computer. Then, spend time digesting the material — and looking for connections. Fill in a small index card with notes, as if you’re trying to solve a puzzle. Shuffle between the physical cards looking for patterns and themes.

Then — and this is the most important part — do nothing. Find a way to disengage your mind to allow unconscious processing, whether that’s by taking a walk, listening to music, watching a movie, or even taking a shower. This may not feel like tangible work, but clearing some headspace will make room for the ideas to come.