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Goal Obsession Is a Contradictory Characteristic

We tend to accept goal obsession as the driving force of our success. It's what induces us to complete the task, despite any obstacles, and complete it perfectly.

Most of the time, it's a positive trait. After all, it's hard to criticize someone who wants to do it 100% right all the time; especially when you consider the alternatives. In its most broad form, goal obsession is the "force majeure" behind when we get so absorbed in achievement that we finish at the expense of the greater mission.

This begins to happen when we lose sight of what we really want in our lives. We begin believing that we'd only be truly happy if we just made a lot of money, or got that promotion, or lost some weight. We get so absorbed in the misdirection of energy that we never really appreciate the irony in all of this. We draw a road map of our entire trip heading in one direction, but end up in the wrong state.

It's also a product of misunderstanding what others want us to do. We might sit down with our manager who sets a goal of X% growth for the next quarter. We become so obsessed that we push everyone out of our way to make this number. We might even become crazed with attaining this goal. What's really happening though is we're trying to make our manager happy. And it's too late by the time we finally realize that we're not happy.

When it seems like we might miss our mark, our goal obsession pushes us to use questionable methods to hit our target. Quite simply, the principled pursuit of a challenging goal set by another person, forces us to become cheaters. When looked at closely, we're not obsessed with attaining the X% increase; we've become obsessed with satisfying the goal setter.

The real problem is that we can't see this through our own eyes, or we refuse to admit it. It's no wonder our values have become confused. This goal obsession has perverted our sense of right and wrong.

This results in us forgetting our manners. We're nice to the people who will help us reach our goals and the ones who can't; we knock out of our way. Never realizing it, we become egotistical conspirators.

Goal obsession is not a flaw, per se, it creates flaws. It's the force that disfigures our otherwise perfect talents and good intentions, turning them into something less than admirable. Pursue your dreams, but not if what you're doing turns the dreams into nightmares.

Don't chase the spotlight. Don't pressure yourself in the pursuit of pleasing someone else. Don't rush the deadline. Prepare and work in an orderly fashion. Don't work as if someone is depending on you.

These are circumstances that will lead to goal obsession. Terrific follow through, great discipline, awesome goal obsession, a short-sighted goal. All these are formulas for catastrophe.

Try a simple solution. Step back, breathe deeply, and think. Survey the conditions that have you obsessing over the wrong goal. Question yourself! Are you under the pressure of time? Are you rushing; in a hurry? Doing a task only because others told you it was important? Are people depending on you?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding, Yes! All the time! You're witnessing the traditional conditions of a goal obsessed person. We run into these people every day. They never go away. This is why reflecting on our work and purpose is so important.

Match all this up to who you want to be; what you want to be doing. Ask yourself honestly and openly: "What am I doing?", "Why am I doing this?" Are you working to support yourself and your family and forgetting about these same people?

Are you on time for your presentations, but not practicing what you preach? After striving so hard, with so much effort, over such a long period of time, you never want to hit a dead-end asking, "What have I done?"

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al brouillard,
55 Wanaque Ave Ste#136
Pompton Lakes, NJ 07442

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