The Gift of a Goal

Further to last week’s post, I’ve been thinking more about the motivating power of a compelling goal.

Energy is a very precious currency.

If you are running a race for which you have trained for a long time, and you find yourself exhausted near the finish line, you don’t want your coach offering you a seat, a hug and a glass of wine right then. You want them to remind you of your goal and your committed preparation, so you’ll keep running and finish strongly.

One of the most demotivating features of pandemic life has been a lack of things to look forward to (beyond vaccine appointments and lockdowns being lifted). Goals matter.

This past week I officially transitioned from being a student to being a Faculty member with Thought Leaders Business School. I am delighted to be the first Canadian to complete the program. Doing so was little more than an audacious dream when I flew to Melbourne in 2017 to check it out. The program has provided a sightline, a community, a process and an accountability structure than I’ve found enormously motivating. I’m pleased now to  be acting as a mentor to others who want to travel a similar road.

But I miss being in the game.

When I watch the finals of major sporting events, I often wonder how the winners feel when the afterglow fades. What keeps them motivated two or three weeks after the big win? I’d underestimated how much the goal of reaching Black Belt has fuelled me for the past 3.5 years. It was a powerful source of energy. When I finished, as my grandma used to say, “My get up ‘n’ go got up and left.” Like those athletes, it’s time for me to recalibrate and set my sights on a new horizon.

Your people are undoubtedly tired right now. They might think they need a rest. But maybe they need a compelling goal more?

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