In life, not all goals are necessarily crystal clear. By crystal clear I mean that you know exactly when you are going to reach that goal.
Big things in life are not necessarily that clear, and even when we might reach that it is not what we expected. Even when the goals are reached we will probably want to continue to work for something else.
We need to break down any goal into actions that can be taken daily. Then we need to supplement that daily action what we learn on the way, because when we were planning the goal we might’ve not known enough about it to decide the course. Finally we can reflect our behavior on the way to the goal, as well as the process we are going there.
Set a course, take daily action, review the feedback, revise the process and reflect how does the process serve you. To better understand this, check out triple loop learning.
Leaps in learning take time
Although learning is linear when observed from far enough, when we look closer its’ more like a grind with steep steps. The grind between level ups feels more like old school Korean MMORPG than anything the linear progression.
I sketched this picture few years back after some coaching. In green is the actual daily grind, until a breakthrough happens and we reach a new plateau. I think the level up concept of games should be applied more to the learning. I also think that all the learning experience while on the plateau, should be re-framed as learning experience, through which you can eventually level up.
Once we understand this that the big breakthroughs take time, we can learn to love the process instead of the big successes that come every once in a while.
Strong core doing and fluid goals
If we have some idea what we want in life, we should set some goals and track the systematically that I agree. As a bonus, I think we should have some kind of model through which we repeat the daily grind.
At times though we should take time to reflect upon that model and keep the model itself updated. Same applies for the goal, once we get closer to the goal we may need to re-set the goal or set it higher.
From personal development standpoint it is important to keep moving towards the goal, make the actions meaningful, however at the times also check the course and be flexible about setting to even higher ambitions.
If the goal starts to feel self-defeating however it might be also smart to revisit the goal and set realistic goals that can be achieved with the daily work. Always set goals you believe you can achieve and you will achieve them with simple persistence. It’s much more fun achieve the goals and get even further, we can always raise the bar.
Goals should therefore be challenging, yet achievable. You should know what you have to do and when you have to do it. What are you going to do today for the goal? Sometimes a big breakthrough happens while in the process, which can significantly reduce the time that it takes you to reach that goal. Other times that breakthrough may not happen and you have to stick with the old process to the very finish line, however when you love the process you’ll do it until the finish line and achieve that goal just in time.