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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Learn English in February

Monday Night Owls - 8 January 2018 - Why we should give up on goals

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,130 Teacher
We read an article about why setting and focusing on goals might be more harmful than useful:

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20171117-why-we-should-all-give-up-on-goals-already

Vocabulary Top 10:

buck - (verb) to oppose or resist something or someone

staple - something that is used widely and often; used, needed, or enjoyed constantly by many people

trade-off - a situation in which you must choose between or balance two things that are opposite or cannot be had at the same time; something that you do not want but must accept in order to have something that you want

dean - a person who is in charge of one of the parts of a university (such as a college or school)

hamster wheel mentality - a repetitive purposeless task, way of life, way of thinking, etc

perpetual - continuing forever or for a very long time without stopping; happening all the time or very often

a ton - a large amount

slack off - doing something poorly because you are not putting enough care or effort into it

blinkered - choosing not to think about what might be happening around you or other options

drudge - a person who does boring, difficult, or unpleasant work


Do you think that focusing on goals instead of the process can be more harmful than useful?
Have you set any goals for this year?
«1

Comments

  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    Thank you @NatashaT for this fantastic article "it came on time" indeed :D.
    Like I said in session this is the first year in my life I didn't put any goals until now, but I can't stop "thinking" indeed and I think I will get crazy :D soon. This was the answer to the second question.
    For the first one "Do you think that focusing on goals instead of the process can be more harmful than useful? "
    I think there is the way to keep it in a balance between focusing on your goals and enjoy your journey. I said I was focusing to reach the top of the mountain that was because I was plan to recorded it and sent messages here like I did in this topic
    http://learn-english-forum.org/discussion/5521/guessing-game-with-aladdin/p1

    But I had to focus on goals here I feel I didn't manage it very well :D. I had enjoyed while I was on my road indeed, but I think my first priority here to reach the top of my destination or it might because this was the first time and I couldn't accept the failer as a result.
    So it depends on your ways to handle your goals and your own process, adding to your information the most important element here is "THE TIME".
  • Just-LearnJust-Learn Posts: 493 ✭✭✭✭
    Let me apply this article on my story.

    Yesterday, my short term goal was to attend the session at night and say my opinion about achieving goals, I focused on that goal and I didn't pay attention to the process, Ah! I fell asleep and missed the session time I was too sleepy.

    I've should planned for a rest during the day instead!

    Anyhow, being one of the unorganized people who can't commit their goals doesn't give me the right to disvalue this strategy, some people set their goals and focus on them and they succeed, they are amazing :).
    And some others like me, they are good in other things like procrastination which I found out that it has its benefits too, they should focus on their strategy and keep going.

    Here I post a TED talk about some how the relation between creativity and procrastination :

    https://www.ted.com/talks/adam_grant_the_surprising_habits_of_original_thinkers/transcript

    Finally, the thing I agree on the most, is no need to have a pressure on ourselves, we do what we can when we can as Lynne usually says.

    Have a great and successful year! Hopefully, we meet in 2019 to see what we are up to in this topic.
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    Don't get any big ideas
    They're not gonna happen



    @Just-Learn we decided to write down our give up list instead of goals :D
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, I think sometimes focusing on goals can be more harmful than successful, especially when your timing turns out being wrong.
    Take for instance your education. When you're in your twenties you think any opportunities open up in front of you, so you suppose you can well take your time and decide what your career is going to be at your leisure.
    Nonetheless, you sometimes gives vent to your fancy rather than opting for a field of study which is more likely to give you a job.
    That's the problem with youngsters who aren't led by an accurate research about what the job market is looking for.
    Therefore many people who graduate in a place where the market is mostly looking for, at best, qualified workers, but is overcrowded with white-collar ones, can't but become frustrated expats.
    In alternative to that, obviously, they resign themselves to work beneath their wits; which, in some cases, equals to squashing real geniuses.
    That's why, in my opinion, focusing away, blinkers on, just on your final utopian visualization of what you want to become, can eventually turn into a dystopian nightmare.
    You need to be more realistic, pragmatic, already at the first stages after you set out to anything; I'm aware it's difficult, because the temptation of putting on the blinkers and start running along the lane is too strong to resist.
    Nevertheless it's the life itself which manages to keep you on the alert for any changed circumstances: you just have to lift an ear to her, from time to time.
    Too much is at risk if you keep focusing on stuff which keep growing unuseful without you being awaken to it.
    I mean relationships, affections, friendships, they all are things which get in the face of your stubborn ambition and goal-minded attitude; however they are the only things which really matter.
    What if you finally become an arid successful guy with no other companion than your wealthy bank account ?
    You can just look behind to the life you've strained to keep up to your expectations: only to find out your goal doesn't compensate for what you've lost along your journey.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,984 mod

    I think achieving high goals isn't common, it's okay to have goals but ease yourself and take it easy, the world doesn't change at once. All you need to do is focusing on your tiny goals and concentrating on the investment of what you have and what is easy for you to get and gradually you will be satisfied with what you have achieved.

    I really need this kind of motivation now... Thank you @MohamedMatter...
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,984 mod
    I really like your way of thinking @Shiny03. Thank you for your advices... :relieved:
    Shiny03 said:

    collecting references -> raising confidence -> stay motivated -> accomplish goals

  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    People make a plan because they feel satisfied with themselves even if they didn't achieve any goals.
    BTW: Your long story didn't prevent me to finish reading your comment.

    I like @amatsuscribbler comment when she said I think goals should be changeable. That's ancient wisdom from a wise ancient!
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,130 Teacher
    Your long story didn´t stop me from reading it all either @Shiny03 ! Which is a good thing, because you made a lot of great points!

    You gave an excellent example of how focusing on the process instead of what you want to achieve with it can have great results (congratulations, by the way!) - and I also loved that you pointed out how fun and interesting the process itself was, too. I think that enjoying what you are doing is much better than stressing about what you might or might not be achieving with it.

    I also think that we miss many things around us when we just use cars or buses - we are so busy concentrating on where we are going, and fast, that we miss the small details. And these details can be fascinating!

    Actually, this also relates to what @filauzio was talking about - we get so focused on the end point, that we forget to look at others things along the way or really see if we actually want what we are working (or driving!) towards. Although we do need to make sure we don´t get too distracted by other things along the way, or we might just walk around in circles!

    @aladdin I didn´t say a give up list.... I said you should think of an action for your goal, and not just a goal!! :wink: PS. Radiohead aren´t the most positive band... I´m not surprised they would write a song saying that!!

    @Just-Learn - great example too of when focusing on the goal means you can´t achieve it!! :D

    I am really impressed by all these comments... I hope we can keep it up for the whole year!!
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    edited January 2018
    Okay @NatashaT here is a positive one

    Yeah you could be someone special
    You've got bright in your brains and lightning in your veins
    You'll go higher than they've ever gone
    In you I see someone special
    You've got fire in your eyes and when you realize you'll go further than we've ever gone
    Just turn it on

    It felt like I'm in prison
    Until I realized I had to set my mind free
    I was trusting statistics more than I trust me

  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Shiny03 your comments are always amazing, wise, and worth-reading: I've already told it to you.
    I'll surely make a point of dividing my comments into brief paragraphs, henceforth, if that will make it, not just to have you reading mine, but to inspire you writing yours ;) .

    I enjoyed reading yours; mind you, you're never boring, because your writing comes from a genuine straight thinking: I appreciate and love that to the utmost.

    Sometimes, I feel like I'm not able to write as genuinely as you; nevertheless that's how I wish I managed to do: so that's my goal.

    I agree: we all are ordinary people; however I think one Steve Jobs is ordinary as well.
    I think what matters most with successful people is: favourable circumstances, ability to grasp any opportunities, business-mindedness, and good luck.

    Do you think one VIP could reach the goal of losing weight much more successfully than you did ? I'm not so sure. I suppose they just can better mask their failures:that's all.
    They are humans, after all, not superhuman infallible machines.

    I think we just have to live our lives at best, limiting any sources of stress, such as goals which take too much effort to reach.
    Walk your life, could be a good metaphor for what I mean: just the way @Shiny03 managed to reach her goal.
    Step after step, allowing you breathing to give you the pace, the sun high in the sky in front of you, you can reach everywhere, given due time.
    If anything, you've reached one of the most important goals ever set by a human born on The Earth: your freedom.

    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,984 mod
    aladdin said:

    People make a plan because they feel satisfied with themselves even if they didn't achieve any goals.
    BTW: Your long story didn't prevent me to finish reading your comment.

    I like @amatsuscribbler comment when she said I think goals should be changeable. That's ancient wisdom from a wise ancient!

    Oh yeah! I've seen this from the timeline too. ;)@aladdin
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,984 mod
    Just wanna chime in a bit what I had experienced recently this day. I had a conversation with one of my Japanese lab mates who can speak English. We were talking about his plans after his graduation from his doctor's degree. I encouraged him to pursue his application in many prestigious companies like Microsoft, Google, etc., but he told me, "I don't want to work overseas..." And then I shifted my suggestion to, "What if you continue your career as a professor here in this university?". He responded, "No, I don't want to handle bad students..."

    From that point in time that he uttered those words, I started to think, "Why did he say bad students?". I asked him again why he perceived that way. He explained to me that for his standards, it's hard to find motivated people these days, and if I will ever have my own laboratory, I don't want to populate it with unmotivated guys". It struck me at some point when he expounded his explanation to me. I felt guilty. I felt like I haven't already given my 100% motivation of what I am doing and will be doing in the succeeding days. Like, seriously, I really need that word "motivation" in my life everyday to keep moving with my goals but why is it sometimes I felt like I am losing it... I actually don't know how to explain it but... have you all experienced the same way too before?
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,130 Teacher
    @kindgnice I think it´s pretty normal to feel different levels of motivation on different days or times. Sometimes you feel extremely motivated to do something, but other times you just go through the motions to get done whatever you need to do. There are lots of things which can affect motivation - from everyday things like whether you are hungry, or didn´t sleep very well, to bigger things like whether you really want to be doing whatever it is that you are doing or working towards.

    Maybe the important thing is not to be too hard on yourself when you realise you might not be giving 100%, and give yourself a break :) It´s not possible to go at 100% all the time! However, if you realise you are always really low in motivation to do something, maybe you need to ask yourself why, and decide whether it really is something you want or need to do.
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,984 mod
    Thank you for your advice @NatashaT. You're right, I think I have to revisit my goals again, rethink if I still really like what I am doing and will be doing in the following days. :)
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    Nowadays, I'm thinking of "Chaos theory" to find out what I'm going to do.

    "When the present determines the future, but the approximate present does not approximately determine the future."

    @filauzio we are not ordinary, every one of us has own talent every one special in something that's why we always need to each other to carry on in this life.

    @NatashaT my favourites quotes from this articles:
    - “We get so emotionally attached to a goal that we’re setting ourselves up for failure and disappointment,”

    - “Use goals as a compass, and not as a GPS,”

    - "That focus on outcome alone feeds into a hamster-wheel mentality."


    - In other words, prioritise the journey (the process) not just the destination (the outcome).”
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,130 Teacher
    Those are some of my favourite quotes from the article too, @aladdin !
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭
    While reading your comment, @NatashaT, I learnt a new expression here: ' to go through the motions ': I like it: I suppose it's like do it mechanically.

    I can understand @kindgnice, when he says sometimes he gets the feeling of not be giving his 100% motivation to what he's currently doing and going to do in his days to come.
    I agree with @NatashaT, that you can't perform your duty at maximum degree all time; there are so many factors which can prevent you from that.

    I think in most of the cases you're simply tired. You need some rest to refresh your mind, allow the stress' grip to loosen a bit, get distracted with anything you please to indulge in.

    However, if the loss of motivation lingers on, as @kindgnice wisely wrote, you're right to revisit your goal and career, at least to find out your bearings and present ambitions.

    As @aladdin wrote:

    ' ... we are not ordinary, every one of us has own talent every one special in something that's why we always need to each other to carry on in this life.

    Agree, we all are special in some way; we just need others, first ourselves, to discover our abilities and innate talents.

    Only be cautious: whenever it happened your're consciously getting along lazily; if your playing at work is turning a drudge; your creativeness helplessly withering away;

    well, in this circumstances, you make sure you put on your best self, to avoid your boss blindsiding you.

    Unfortunately, your boss is a special person too: especially when it comes to smell something isn't working the same as before. :)
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    @Just-Learn "Tomorrow Never Came" so start NOW
  • amatsuscribbleramatsuscribbler Posts: 3,077 mod
    @kindgnice - avoid taking on what you perceive as criticism from someone else. He was probably not thinking of you at all! Only look to yourself. If you can honestly say 'I have done my best' that is all that matters! :)
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,884 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2018

    @kindgnice - avoid taking on what you perceive as criticism from someone else. He was probably not thinking of you at all! Only look to yourself. If you can honestly say 'I have done my best' that is all that matters! :)

    Hi @amatsuscribbler How are you doing? :heart:
    I agree with you, but I have different thoughts. Which is it might be a good chance to keep him moving forward. I mean he is studying abroad, if he can't keep his motivation high, homesickness (or feeling depressed at something) might occupy his mind and let him forget what the purpose of his study in Japan is.

    @kindgnice Where did you find that honest Japanese? (Because he told you what he was really thinking. It's very difficult to find such people here. Can you introduce him to me? Because I think he's quit interesting. :smiley: ) I am sorry, but I was laughing while reading your conversation with that Japanese guy. He answered all your questions straightly. You should dig into it and ask more detailed about what he thinks of motivation.

    In my humble opinion, you always think too much, which is good, but sometimes you just need to adjust it. I mean the direction of thinking, like focus on the other thing such as asking him, how do you keep your motivation high? I mean if you realize that you are less motivated, then, try to find references (positive experiences) and help yourself. Am I hard on you? No, not at all, I am telling myself this at the same time.

    p.s. Thank you @NatashaT and @filauzio for your response, because of it's lacking many details of what I was talking.
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,884 ✭✭✭✭✭
    NatashaT said:

    @kindgnice I think it´s pretty normal to feel different levels of motivation on different days or times. Sometimes you feel extremely motivated to do something, but other times you just go through the motions to get done whatever you need to do. There are lots of things which can affect motivation - from everyday things like whether you are hungry, or didn´t sleep very well, to bigger things like whether you really want to be doing whatever it is that you are doing or working towards.

    Maybe the important thing is not to be too hard on yourself when you realise you might not be giving 100%, and give yourself a break :) It´s not possible to go at 100% all the time! However, if you realise you are always really low in motivation to do something, maybe you need to ask yourself why, and decide whether it really is something you want or need to do.

    ur, sorry for my post. Natasha has said everything what I wanted to say and made it even better. Oh, god, just give me one percent of her wisdom and ability, so I shall advance toward success.
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,130 Teacher
    lol @Shiny03 , the more the merrier! Sometimes saying the same thing in a different way helps someone, because the way you say it makes more sense to them.

    Also - refer back to what @mheredge was saying in another thread about those 12 rules - stop comparing yourself to others, and focus on what you can do ;) I'm sure many others would agree with me that you have shared a lot of wisdom here!
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
    edited January 2018

    I've done putting every year's plans or achievements and nothing happened, so no plans anymore this is the first thing I give up on it.
    I give up on social club things such as birthdays, weddings or visiting relatives. I think I'm much better when I'm alone.
    I give up on all the old stuff that I haven't touched for one month long, I will but it on olx.com or streetbank.com or send them to trash icon :D.
    In the past, when I was trying to fix things I was asking myself why I'm taking so much time. The answer was because I couldn't give up until I was 100% sure I can't fix it, even that probability was very low to get fixed so why I had have given it 10th or 11th time of trying, I give up on the third time of trying. Which means anything in my life I will give it a twice "chance or try".
    Here are some questions I struggled with them:
    Should I give up on everything?
    Should I give up on "hope"?
    Should I give up on dreams?
    Should I give up on faith?
    Should I give up on society?

    You know that sometimes I wish I could have this rest button in my brain to rest everything.
  • NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,130 Teacher
    @aladdin it sounds like you are a bit tired of everything at the moment! Some of those things sound like they might be good things to give up - things you aren't using anymore, or maybe giving up trying to fix something after you've already tried 3 or 4 times!
    But I don't think you should give up on everything.
    You definitely shouldn't give up on hope, dreams, faith, society - there are lots of good things in that list, and lots of new opportunities come from having those things in your life.
    Give yourself permission to give your brain a rest - you don't need to know the answers to everything, or decide everything now. Just concentrate on the here and now, and what is in front of you. :)
  • aladdinaladdin Radio Producer LEOnetworkPosts: 1,749 mod
  • kindgnicekindgnice LEO Motivator!!! Posts: 7,984 mod
    Shiny03 said:



    @kindgnice Where did you find that honest Japanese? (Because he told you what he was really thinking. It's very difficult to find such people here. Can you introduce him to me? Because I think he's quit interesting. :smiley: ) I am sorry, but I was laughing while reading your conversation with that Japanese guy. He answered all your questions straightly. You should dig into it and ask more detailed about what he thinks of motivation.

    In my humble opinion, you always think too much, which is good, but sometimes you just need to adjust it. I mean the direction of thinking, like focus on the other thing such as asking him, how do you keep your motivation high? I mean if you realize that you are less motivated, then, try to find references (positive experiences) and help yourself. Am I hard on you? No, not at all, I am telling myself this at the same time.

    Thank you Shiny. I am trying to be positive... But as days get tougher and tougher, it's hard to move forward. But still, I keep on trying... @Shiny03 With regards to the Japanese labmate, he is honest to answer my questions, but sometimes, I felt like he's not saying the truth though. :smiley:
  • Shiny03Shiny03 Posts: 2,884 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2018
    @kindgnice I am going to take back my words, because I don't think you need my advice. I mean you are not that kind of person who only worries a lot but do nothing. You always work hard and try to find ways out to get through the difficulties and I respect that. I wish all the best for your future endeavors.:)

    "but sometimes, I felt like he's not saying the truth though."
    Now you are talking about that kind of Japanese I know. :smirk:
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