The other day I was wondering why do some goals make me grumpy?
For most of my life I would set goals, get excited, slowly start to feel less enthusiasm, and… believe it or not… start resenting some of my goals.
I would think, “Really? WTF?!? I’m a positive guy. I’m optimistic. I’m a dreamer. Why are these goals making me grumpy?”
Not all of them. A few of my goals made me geek out with positive energy and pulled me forward.
But a few goals created self-doubt, anxiety, and frustration. I wondered what the difference was between my grump goal and my geeky goals.
My mentors said, “All goals are the same. Just train your mind to be a goal achiever, and anything is possible! The antidote to your self-doubt is visualization, affirmations, dream boarding, daily gratitude, and work on your mindset.”
Like a good soldier, I did it all. And yet, there was still a sinking feeling that I was not going to achieve a few of my most important goals every year.
No matter how many techniques I used, this fear that other people were better than me would sneak in. The Drunk Monkey would start spewing, “You don’t deserve to live the life you imagined. You will never achieve those big goals!”
That made me grumpy.
Mr. Fix It
Back in ‘06, my mind went quiet. Meaning, the automatic talking in my head stopped sharing its opinions without my permission. The peace was shocking, and with it came insights that took me by surprise. Suddenly it was obvious why some goals made me grumpy, and others made me geeky.
Grumpy goals come from the survival perspective of have to, need to, must and should. A perspective that implies negative consequences if something doesn’t change.
My geeky goals came from the perspective that all is well, there is nothing that needs to be done, and wouldn’t it be fun if…. (Insert goal here). This perspective implies life is so good that I get to do this!
The more my goals implied that the results would fix something broken and therefore make me “better” than I was before, the higher the probability they would…
#1 Cause me to overwork and over-exert, which is a very inefficient way to get to where I want to go. Remember, none of us can sprint a marathon.
#2 Cause me to get agitated when things are not going my way. Being in a bad mood while going after what I want is counterintuitive (and dumb).
#3 Create irrational fears about the future without my goals. Imagine a pro athlete saying “yeah, I am not sure we can win this game.” Not an uplifting or empowering approach to goal achievement.
#4 Imply that I might be a phony which would make me retreat. Or worse, I would react with pride, false confidence, and get aggressive.
The Treadmill From Hell
Once you achieve the grumpy goal, chances are you’ll set another bigger goal that will make you even grumpier until it’s achieved.
Round and round you go on the treadmill from hell. Never satisfied and never feeling accomplished.
This is why no matter how successful you are… how accomplished you become, or how much stuff you acquire, you still feel like you have to keep striving for the next thing.
So what’s the solution?
Set Enlightened Goals. Goals that inspire you and cause you to feel how you want to feel BEFORE you get the thing or accomplish the next objective.
Enlightened Goals are connected to the outcomes you think the grumpy goal will deliver – but faster and without all the forcing, pushing or driving to accomplish yet another goal.
If you have never done my Enlightened Goal Setting Process, do a quick search on YouTube, and you will find a full-blown workshop there to help you find your geeky goals and let go of the grumpy goals.
If you are a super nerd, like me, and want to do a 6-hour deep dive, I’m hosting an Enlightened Goal Setting Workshop next to the Orange County airport on December 10th. Find the detail on my website matthewferry.com
In the meantime… Let go of the grumpy goals!!!