Monday, November 26, 2007

What's Up With Goals?

Why are goals so hard?

I mean, they shouldn't be hard. It doesn't make sense, rationally.

I mean, think about it. A goal is where you write down something you want, then write down the steps you need to take to get that thing, and then you go through and do the stuff.

There's no downside in there. It's about you figuring out something you want and then doing the stuff it takes to get it.

And yet goals are, generally, absolutely, unbelievably, excruciatingly hard.

It's not like that in other things. When Jack Bauer is on the phone with the guy back at CTU who's telling him which wires to cut to defuse the bomb, it's not a major issue. It's not like Jack feels any need to stop and question the guy or think about if he really wants it or put off a certain step until he feels more like doing it. He just goes through the step the guy gives him over the phone, and he diffuses the bomb.

Isn't that how all goals should be? After all, generally goals are about things we want almost as bad as Jack wants to diffuse that bomb. Shouldn't we just whip through the steps, happy as clams, and then enjoy our post-goal touchdown victory dance?

But maybe it's just because it's TV. Maybe in real life, bomb squad guys do lose focus. Maybe they do want to take a break in the middle of diffusing bombs to go read Ann Landers and have a couple of Little Debbie's cakes. Maybe they do give up halfway through because they made a little mistake and just don't know if they can ever recover from it.

I know that's what they'd do if they ever called diffusing that bomb a goal. At that point, it would become, somehow, psychologically impossible to do.

But of course, I exaggerate.

I actually read a really good book about the answer to this question once, and maybe sometime I'll tell you about it.

But for right now, as I start back down this path again, I just toss that question out into the ether of the interweb, and ponder the unjustness of it . . .

Why are goals so hard?

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