an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness; a model of consciousness, including
all aspects, for designing practical
paths of personal development and evolution.
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in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.
Goals = Fail
Provocative, but true. I’m not saying don’t make goals or work
toward them. I am saying it’s absolutely not the first step.
In every long-term endeavor, there’s an incredibly important step that
comes first. In aviation it’s called a preflight check. When you’re
going on a road trip, you don’t just hop in the car and go. First, you
make sure the tires are properly inflated, there’s fuel in the tank, and
Here, we need to look at our goal-setting mechanism, before we start
using it. Remember the Einstein quote: “you can’t solve problems using
the same thinking that created them?” Setting goals with your current
mindset usually results in difficulties in achieving them. For one
thing, you’re going to maintain your existing challenges, and continue
to struggle as you have up to now. This is partially because goals set
with your current goal-setting mechanism are usually polluted with other
people’s Values and expectations, filling them with “shoulds.” That
makes achieving them become all about overcoming your natural resistance
to expending time and energy on something you likely don’t really want.
Over decades of coaching, I’ve discovered that almost all
procrastination and resistance is rooted in this dynamic. Digging under
the superficial not wanting to do something, is a deeper version of not
wanting to do it. On the other side, when you’re passionately excited
about something, you do it without resistance.
A bigger problem I’ve seen is that when you set goals with your current
goal-setting mechanism, you’ll often find yourself way down the road,
actually achieving a very unsatisfactory end result. I’ve worked with
literally hundreds of successful people who got to the top of the
mountain, and felt no joy as they looked around and asked “now what?”
What Are Your Goals Based On?
Doing a preflight check on your goal-setting mechanism is going to prove
invaluable, saving time and energy in the long run. To deal with
whatever comes our way, we need to improve and expand our way of
thinking; the one Integral Tool we have is Us. Ensuring that our
goal-setting mechanism is in top form ensures our goals are going to be
higher quality. So, rather than jumping into setting goals, we need to
start with delving into who you really are and what makes you tick; your
operating system. This is how you interpret and process the world around
you. What tools are you bringing to the table, and what are your built
in blindspots? When we know this, we can create goals from your True
Desires, and we know the best ways to get there.
Most people start with a great first thought, looking at what they want
in the future. Unfortunately at this point, each of these things that
they want seem to veer in diverging directions. Then they look at
achieving all those different end points as Goals.
Sometimes it’s even more obtuse; filled with “maybe I should _____” type
statements. This has absolutely no roots whatsoever in anything of key
significance to you, so the odds that you’ll follow through drop like a
stone. Let’s get back to what will keep you on a track for as long as it
takes to get there: Passion. Obtaining a shiny object may start with
enthusiasm, but that will fade, and you’ll be far down a road that leads
to nothing but what you’ve now lost interest in. This means going back
to your starting point and heading off in a new direction. Without
examining that goal-setting mechanism, the odds are that once again
you’ll head down a road that may not take you where you want to go, and
the cycle repeats.
To ignite Passion requires engaging in your deepest held Values. These
are the Values that drive us, that shape our interpretations of life,
and at our core genuinely define us. If our Values are not engaged,
everything becomes superficial. If we want to find a fuel for the long
haul, something that will sustain our efforts through thick and thin,
there’s nothing like Core Values. So in doing a preflight check on our
goal-setting mechanism, we need to start with ascertaining these.
Turn the Tree Upside Down
Remember that concept of having all these diverging paths for each goal
taking you off in different directions?. This is one of the most
frustrating aspects of people’s lives. There’s no way to stay on top of
them all, and inevitably in order to arrive at one end point, you must
give up being at another one, because you simply can’t be two places at
once. It looks something like a tree, with the single trunk splitting
into more and more branches, each one signifying a different goal with a
different end point.
To change this, visualize that tree upside down. This becomes more like
looking at streams converging into a single river flowing in a single
direction. By creating a singular end-point; a visualization for where
you want to be in the future filled with your Values, you can craft all
your goals to take you to that single point. Instead of your goals
conflicting, they support one another. Instead of having to give up one
thing so you can have another, you can have it all. Instead of wasting
days, weeks, or years pursuing something that isn’t going to bring you
real happiness, you can use your energy wisely and efficiently to take
you exactly where you want to be.
Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?
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contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
- Ian J. Blei
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Institute for Integral Enneagram
Without Losing Your Soul
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Circumstances will always be
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