Everyone wants to be successful in life and they often work hard to meet that goal. There’s nothing wrong with such a pursuit. In fact, research suggests
that having a specific goal does indeed account for enhanced personal and professional performance.
In the corporate world, a cursory survey of what success means would likely yield typical outcome-based key performance indicators (KPIs) based on money,
paper qualifications and power. Recently, I asked a number of my executive coaching clients based in China about their New Year resolutions and all
of them specified goals based on the bottom line.
Yet, clearly success can mean different things to different people. I know someone who once declared a corporate intention for his organisation to be simply
a happy one – like a tight family unit. That was in his inauguration speech and he is now a very successful and accomplished leader. Going against
the grain of conventional wisdom, he was clear that going after the intangibles and the “fluffy” stuff was a competitive advantage for his tangible
There is nothing wrong with setting a goal and going after it. The problem is we often allow the goal to consume us. It can determine our day and define
our identity as a human being. Make no mistake: it can consume us consciously as well as unconsciously. Consequently, we can lose the ability to be
present and engage with what is unfolding before us, and we can become separated from our present self through mind games such as fantasising about
the future, grappling with self-expectations or regretting/re-living the past. I dare say that the number one regret busy executives have is that they
do not spend enough time with their kids.
“What is life? They say it’s from B to D. From birth to death, but what’s between B and D? It’s a ���C’. So what is a C? It’s a choice. Our life is a matter of choices. Live well and it will never go wrong.”
Choices are made all the time. If we don’t exercise a proactive and conscious choice, then life does it for us. So why live a life defined mainly by metrics
and KPIs when we can embody one fuelled by meaning, love and relationships? And if we are not able to talk about what gives us a deep sense of purpose,
conviction and passion, then perhaps it’s time for a pause. Perhaps 2016 is a year for reconnecting with our buddies over drinks, picking up that dusty
guitar or just taking time to be with ourselves by the seaside.
There will always be a better place in the future. However, it is not the future that we inhabit, but the present moment.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn
Here’s wishing everyone a meaningful and successful 2016.