The other day at our meeting, we got to talking about goals, goal setting, and the motivation around the pursuit of goals. One part of the conversation dealt with the frustration of having to write up (and then be held accountable for) work goals. To me, that’s simply an exercise in modern corporate management bullshitt
ery – something that those of us with jobby-jobs simply have to put up with, but that really means very little. Another part of the conversation dealt with the notion of setting outrageous and unrealistic goals as an extreme source of motivation. The idea was, if you set really really high goals – even if you never achieve any of them, pursuing them will help you achieve more and go further than you (might) would if you set only reasonable goals and actually achieved them.
I have a lot of issues with that latter concept. I believe that “happiness” is the by-product of the consistent accomplishment of one’s goals.
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best.
~ Theodore Isaac Rubin
To “be happy”, one needs to have goals, pursue them, achieve them, and realize the accomplishment. The feeling is temporary, lasting in direct proportion to the difficulty of the goal. That’s why we need to be consistent in the process.
Since we use the same work “goal” for so many different concepts, I feel we need to include some modifiers. I differentiate between long-term goals, short-term goals, tasks, and sub-tasks. I also use the SMART goal setting concept, with the acronym breaking out to “Specific” “Measurable” “Attainable” “Results-oriented” and “Time-based”. Goals are simply dreams with deadlines.
Long-term goals should be divided into smaller short-term goals, both of which get translated into SMART goals. My short-term goals should be in line with and leading up to my ultimate long-term goals. Tasks are those things that I have to do in order to achieve my short-term goals. Tasks are broken down into manageable sub-tasks.
In real estate investing, we need to have long-term goals. “By a certain date, we will have X amount of assets generating Y dollars per month in passive income.” If X = 10 million, it’s probably going to take several years to get there. So, each year we have a short-term goal to increase our assets by a certain amount. That becomes the short term goal for the year. What is it going to take to achieve this short-term goal? The answer becomes the tasks that we have to complete ~ the day-to-day “work” of investing.
When Lee and I say, “work is fun”, this is what we mean. We ENJOY the work because it is in pursuit of our goals. The tasks are not arbitrary, but rather necessary activities to achieve a certain goal. Marking tasks off of our task lists maintains that consistency of accomplishment.Hermann says please like and share!