More Game, Less Goals

Today, I got seduced yet again to the big “goals” of my life – the outcomes of what I want to create – those goals like my mortgage paid off in 5 years or a best seller book by 2013.  Now, this does not sound like a bad thing, yet, I notice that by focusing on the goals creates stress and anxiety in me big time as it activates that old standard question “how to create them.” It has me loose focus on the “game” in life that I am playing right now. I am not a happy camper when I go here – really! And yet, when I re-focused on the “game” that I am up to in my life right now, I became more creative, more alive and connected to myself again. I have heard from many folks that when we get to the later years of our life, we remember most how we lived life – way more than the goals that we achieved along the way. When I coach folks these days, I tell them right upfront that I am not a goal focused coach – I focus on the “game of life” that you want to live – for I know the goals will happen organically. So, the big question to ask ourselves is, ‘are you living a goal oriented life? Or a “game” oriented life?’  Thoughts?


  • Kate Sholonski Reply

    I agree whole-heartedly with this perspective, Rick. The more I focus on having fun as I “play”, the game of life, the more I accomplish.

    Goals have always seemed daunting to me, yet just allowing ideas and actions to evolve feels natural. I never know exactly where I’ll end up on the game board and it doesn’t matter as long as I enjoy the game.

  • Gina Paigen Reply

    I love how you expressed this. I’ve often wondered if I’m somehow falling down on my job as a coach by not being more focused on goals and outcomes (I tend to live in the land of “the game”), so now you have me thinking I’m naturally coaching from exactly the place where I’m supposed to be. Someone recently explained psychic pain as “we experience anger when we dwell in the past; we experience anxiety when we dwell in the future; peace and joy exist in the land of now.”

  • Bianca Zick Reply

    Rick, I absolutely love your thoughts around goals. I too feel the anxiety of goals but am motivated by living my life, playing the game, working toward what I want. it reminds me of English class and the requirement to write an outline first…hated it, just stared blankly at the paper…so I would just write and then make my outline from my completed paper (still do)! Oh so many ways to approach things. Thanks.

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