Achieving goals is neither good or bad in itself. It’s our intentions, our approach and the meaning we give to our achievements that makes it a positive or negative force in our lives. As with all things in life, there are pluses and minuses… the good and the bad… the pleasure and pain side… to everything. And so it is with goal achievement. Where’s the tipping point? From my own personal life and from hundreds of business owners and executives whom I have coached, below are 3 telltale signs you are on the dark side of goal achievement. Do any of these sound like you?
1. Your sense of identity, worth and value depend on your achievements.
This sign is scary because it is so rampant in today’s culture. People often equate their value with how much they are achieving or not achieving… how their success compares to others… what their “image” of success is. Even scarier, most people are unconscious that they are caught in this trap. NULL
The Litmus Test: If you were to lose all your assets today or your business took a serious downturn , how would you feel about yourself? About your worth? Do you play it safe? Do you fear failure?
2. Achieving your goals becomes an end in itself, rather than a means to an end.
So many people today pursue goals that may fill their bank account. Yet bankrupt their heart and their soul. National surveys tell us that more than 90% of the population are unhappy in their work or business. Are you one of them? The Litmus Test: Are your goals driven by your values? Do your goals give you a sense of meaning and fulfillment? Is the destination more important to you than the journey?
3. Achieving your goals has become an obsession. Burnout, workaholicism and perpetual stress have become a way of life.
There is a fine line between working hard and workaholicism. Most people don’t know when they have stepped over that line. I know. I was one of those victims. And I paid a very high cost for stepping over that line. In the late ’80’s, at the peak of my success consulting with multi-billion $ companies on high level strategic projects, my whole life came crashing around me. Not only was I battling for my survival due to a life threatening illness. I was forced to liquidate all my assets, sell my home and unable to work for over 5 years. The most excruciating pain, however, was on a soul level – ie., no longer knowing who I was or what my purpose was. The Litmus Test: Do you find yourself, even in your “off time,” always thinking about work? Do you suffer from constant sleep deprivation? Irritable? High adrenaline, with no peace of mind? Summary: Achieving goals is neither good or bad in itself. It’s our intentions, our approach and the meaning we give to our achievements that makes it a positive or negative force in our lives. Don’t wait – like I did – before it is too late and it costs you dearly, to know where the line is drawn. From my own personal experience, when you stay on the right side of that line, life becomes an amazing, rich journey that ignites every fiber of your being. And your goals are the stepping stones that help you get there!