Monday, January 19, 2009

On setting goals....

I really enjoy Penelope Trunk's blog. She's a refreshing change from most career bloggers, is blunt and smart, a very nice combination.

This is an especially good post.
Basically, it says that your goals have to be about process, and that process has to be to find ways to spend your time doing things you like to do. That's how you create energy and flow, and, ultimately, a happy life. "Take action where your passion lives, and the rest will follow."

This is a very good and inspirational post with lots of good ideas.

It brings up another interesting idea that I have been toying with, which is that there is usually a sweet spot of all these philosophies of life...a point of moderation where there really is energy.

For example, while I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of building your life around what you like to do, shouldn't some of your goals be designed to force yourself to do things you don't like to do? Covey once wrote that "successful people do what unsuccessful people don't like to do."

The difference is more perceived than real. You will note the importance of obsessive practice in the Trunk post, and Covey always talked about aligning your life to your mission.

Still, it is hard to give up all the old "grim duty of life" metaphors we got from Little House on the Prairie. Here's another sweet spot, though, because Trunk's post sounds like of 1960's-what-color-is-your-parachute.

One last thing. We're not moving widgets here. And, in knowledge work, I think what Trunk is talking about is key. The inspired and energetic and the ones that dig out the new inferences and relationships that create not just home runs, but a steady stream of singles and doubles.

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