Is it simply to hit a quarterly sales target? Achieve promotion? Get a bonus? All these things are find and good and will no doubt support you and your family, if you have one, to live a ‘successful’ life. But what if there was more?
So often we experience a mid-life crises and wonder, what have we achieved, really? The money, the fame, the house don’t necessarily mean we are happy or fulfilled. But if we connect our immediate goals to bigger goals, then later on we can perhaps look back with a rich sense of fulfilment, knowing we have contributed to something more than the achievement of our immediate desires.
In Buddhism there is the phrase ‘earthly desires are kindle to enlightenment’ and this is so true. Let me give you an example of what this meant for a client of mine.
Brian has been working tirelessly to establish a music festival in a small community in Australia. Our sessions take place over skype and we have spent several sessions working through the challenges in such a huge task – marketing, sponsorship, booking the right musicians, the cost of it all. After all he isn’t some wealthy impresario, just an old guy, living on a small pension who loves music. One day we explored the challenges in the context of that Buddhist phrase and linked his need to break-even, keep going and have a success with the bigger goal of helping the community in which he lives. A successful festival would bring in visitors and artists; they would spend money, take hotel rooms and have a great time and generally bring joy to the community. In choosing to return the following year, they would be investing in the town and this would benefit many people beyond Brian and his immediate family.
This bigger goal helped enormously in planning and thinking about the event. By not focusing solely on his immediate concerns he was open to lots of possibilities and conversations which otherwise would never have occurred to him and it gave him the energy, determination to succeed, stepping way outside his comfort zone in the process. What’s great is that others became excited by his vision too – suddenly he found himself on national radio, flying across the country to meet with international news outlets and receiving an endorsement from Johnny Cash’s family no less – (And did I mention he is 82?!).
So, the lesson is, connect your goal to a bigger goal that benefits those beyond just yourself. It will be motivating, ignite your thinking and help you to grow in ways you never anticipated!