Be creative and achieve your goals!
Many of us spend our lives going through a loop which involves solving problems that life throws at us, time after time. What we don’t appreciate is that the latest problem being solved, more often than not, is simply a variation on an old theme and the reason it reoccurs is frequently because we didn’t really deal with it properly in the past. Remember Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results! In other words, we rarely get twenty years’ worth of experience – instead, we get one year’s worth of experience twenty times over!
Problem solving thinking
The ability to solve problems is a obviously a very important part of our lives and is vital for our ultimate success. In fact, problem solving requires a specific set of skills and tools and an ability to make sure that the “problem” being solved is actually the real problem, as opposed to the symptom.
However, a solution that what works once won’t always work for the same problem, because things have a habit of changing – our circumstances, our environment, and even ourselves! This can mean that the old, “right” way of doing things will no longer work. However, we may try to make them work regardless and we will work hard to do the “right” things the “right” way instead of the way that actually produces results in today’s new world. As Marshall Goldsmith says in his book, “What got you here won’t get you there.”
Goal setting thinking
For most people, goal setting is simply another form of problem solving – the business profits are reducing, so we set ourselves a goal to increase them by 10%. But the major problem with most goal setting is that, by setting the goal, we define our current position as being “wrong” and the goal “right.” As human beings, we often need something to push away from or to push towards to actually get the motivation to make changes.
Of course, we all know that dissatisfaction with where we are is a primary motivator in our lives. You will continue to sit in the exact same position until your body starts to feel uncomfortable, then you will move. The same is true with all aspects of our lives, even our relationships.
The problem with this type of thinking is we become more focused on the plan itself and the way that we are supposed to achieve our goal, than actually achieving the goal itself. The result needs to happen in the “right” way for us – i.e. according to our plan. Frequently, goal setting places too much emphasis on the process for achieving the goal and makes us blind to other possibilities for achieving the same results.
Think about where you are in your life today. The chances are that three things are true:
- Where you are today is not at all what you expected compared to what you thought was possible when you were, say, 16 years old.
- The route you took to get here today was totally unpredictable, from your point of view as a younger person, and
- The path that got you here was anything but straight, in fact, it was probably the most circuitous, chaotic route imaginable.
Yet you arrived at this point in time, so how did this happen? It certainly wasn’t due to enormous expertise in problem solving and goal setting, as crucial as those two things are.
It was creation thinking that got you here – which is something that is rarely consciously done, as it requires a very different set of skills and mindset from traditional problem solving. Creation is about allowing the things that we want to come to us instead of striving to keep what we don’t want away. It is about seeing and seizing the opportunities which present themselves as opposed to goal setting, which is about trying to force or manufacture a desired and predictable outcome.
When you are in a creation mode, you will never know all the exact steps and procedures and path to get from where you are to where you want to go. Compare that mentality to your most recent set of plans and goals. Virtually every time we set a goal, we know (or attempt to know) every step we will take prior to beginning the journey and if we don’t know all the steps, we rarely will start the journey. This is like sitting in your car in the morning until you know for certain that all the lights between you and your destination will be green once you get under way. Sadly, most journeys never get started and therefore most dreams never achieved.
The key is that creation thinking is a companion to and not a replacement for goal setting. Both are necessary, you just need to set a goal then just start moving to it, having the confidence that you will overcome all obstacles and be open to spotting all opportunities that you create along the way.
So go on, take Action, set some big goals and trust in your creation thinking to find the way there!