As a former sales executive, I used to be very driven by goals and numbers in almost every area of my life. A negative sales report or even a step on the scale could ruin my day. I let information that wasn’t all that meaningful have an enormous impact on how I felt and ultimately, how I treated other people.
Today, I don’t pay much attention to rigid goals, but instead focus more on the process than the end result. I follow the advice given to me by this fabulous woman. “Be Fierce and Flexible.”
When we loosen our grip on expectations, we can take the focus off of how things are supposed to end up, what we think other people will think, and make room to notice the unexpected joys and successes.
Be Fierce and Flexible with …
Overnight changes and extreme measures rarely work when trying to lose weight or make a big change in your diet. Be fierce with one small change, but flexible with the big picture. If you decide to become a vegetarian and after a week without a hamburger, you want to throw in the towel, step back. Drop chicken first instead, or try a vegetarian burger.
As relationships mature, you have to be fierce in your desire to be who you are, but flexible enough to redefine your expectations, and to be loving instead of right.
If you’ve been working to reduce your clutter, but feel like it’s a one step forward, two-step back adventure, get fierce with a one in: one (or two) out policy, but be flexible with your family. Stay focused on your clutter before worrying about their clutter.
Whether it’s business or personal development, growth can be frustrating when it’s not happening as fast as you imagined it would. Be fierce in your commitment to grow, but flexible when it comes to the direction and methods. Trying something new is not giving up and growing in another way besides rapidly up is not failure.
It’s important to consider the nature of your goal setting. When you set a goal, define your why and ask good questions. What happens if you don’t meet your goal, or if you change it, or if you never set it to begin with? Be fierce with your goals while they motivate you or other people involved and flexible with your goals when the goal itself defeats the purpose of your mission, or if you change or grow out of the goal.
I recently set a goal to raise $4400 in a few short weeks for charity: water. I thought it would be fun to celebrate reaching the goal with you on my birthday. When I didn’t meet the goal, instead of stomping my feet, I realized it would be awesome to celebrate with you regardless of date, numbers or goals and just like that, I broke the rules and modified the goal.
Today we are celebrating!
Together we have raised almost $4700 of $4400. We blew that silly goal right out of the water and still have time to raise more. The important number in this goal isn’t $4400 or 6/5/2013. The important number is how many people will start drinking clean water because of our efforts. Today that number is 72 and I hope it continues to grow.