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     Starting with Goals = Fail

The Integram: 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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Starting with Goals = Fail
(click for podcast)
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 so on.

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?
 Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


Special Offer! -

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I'm giving away another 3 complimentary coaching sessions to the first 3 people (who haven't already worked with me) who email me this month's secret word:  "Allhallowtide"

 Just put that in the Subject Line of your email, along with your contact info so we can schedule.

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Resource Links:

Conscious Communication - the podcast series

Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
Integram (TM) -understanding ourselves, each other, and our relationships

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?



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Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets intentional design.   Enjoy!



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

Click HERE





Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
Fan Page
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Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Senior Partner/Channel Marketing Manager - Skype





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