Sometimes, the harder we try to make something happen, the less chance we have of making it happen.
The old way of goal attainment
Popular advice says that, to achieve your goals, you should write them down, get crystal clear on what you need to do to achieve them, make sure there is a realistic time frame and get on it. The one thing that is missing, however, is the concept that the harder we try to make something happen, the less chance we have of making it happen.
Consider when you meet someone but can’t remember their name. The harder you focus on it, the more difficult it becomes to bring their name to mind, only to find the moment you move on and focus on something else; it comes back to you. In a different analogy, think of a time when someone really wants to be your friend, and they’re trying super hard to make you like them. How do you feel about that person? It sort of has a repelling effect, doesn’t it?
The way to think about this in relation to a way to achieve your goals, is in considering the level of emotional attachment you have to that goal.
What goal achievement taught me about enjoying life
I spent 11 years in Canada, where my wife is from. While Canada is truly a beautiful country, after that many long Canadian winters we developed the goal to return to Australia with our girls, but the timing just never seemed to be right.
Because that goal was always at the forefront of our minds, our life took on a dissatisfactory tinge. Because our decisions were made on the basis that we would be leaving soon, they became temporary. Our furniture was all temporary, we weren’t putting down roots, you get the picture.
Well, one day, I had to just accept that while our end goal was to move back to Australia, I couldn’t let that consume all my energy and I decided to just ‘let it go’ for the time being. As a result, we started making different decisions. We started buying nicer furniture; and when we did that, things just sort of lined up, and six months later, we were able to make firm plans to move home.
Once we release our emotional attachment around something, we make some room for opportunity to come towards us versus thinking that to achieve a specific goal we need to stick to a certain path, and end up developing a resistance to it.
Anyone who has played golf will know that the right way to hold a club is not to grip it so hard that we’re strangling it, but to loosen our fingers a little and give the club some room to do its job It’s the same with goal attainment.
How to achieve your goals the easy way
Sit back examine your feelings towards your goals and make a decision to let it go and you’ll be amazed at not only how you feel, but what opportunities that might come your way that help your goal come a lot faster.
Common literature and advice rarely talks about this one key element that is critical to making achieving your goals way easier and a lot more fun.
It’s an approach that can seem contradictory in world that is achievement driven, however you don’t need to look far to see examples of people who seem to have things line up for them vs. those who are sweating it out and appear to be getting nowhere.
If you feel like sometimes you work too hard to achieve your goals, I think you’ll enjoy and benefit greatly from this video.
Let me know how it goes for you.