Identity and Goals




Full disclosure: I've been listening to Brené Brown and James Clear on the Dare to Lead podcast. I'm going to leave a couple quotes here, talk about my own life, and grab my copy of Atomic Habits.


These are all from James Clear.


"You don't rise to the level of your goals, you fall to the level of your systems."

"Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement."

"Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become."


I've set a lot of goals. I've done my fair share New Years Resolutions. I set a bunch of goals at the end of 2020 that I'm not going to achieve. Most of the time I've fallen into creating goals because I'm striving for an identity.


One time that I did NOT set a goal was on one of the highest performing teams that I've ever been a part of. We didn't set out to be industry leaders. No one on the team had specific goals or metrics for when we'd "made it." Whenever we completed a project and celebrated, we weren't done. There was and is always another project. In fact, it was a team that had very little in the way of external validation from the company or the industry.


Looking at that situation to see what went right, here's what I come up with:

  1. We had four questions. What are the rules? What is the right thing to do? What is the plan? Where is the risk?

  2. We asked those questions consistently.

  3. We had fun.

The trick for our other endeavors to end up with the identities we're looking up at now will be to consistently ask the right questions and enjoy where we are right now.


Journey before Destination.

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