Deciphering Between Moving Towards or Away From Your Goals

People sometimes say that it doesn’t matter if you’re seeing results as long as you continue moving and keep working.

Well… I disagree with that.

I mean, it matters if you see results because otherwise, why are you doing something?

Think of yourself stranded 20 miles east of New York in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. You could swim as hard as you want to but if you are only swimming east, it will take you a LONG time to reach land.

Whereas, if you took the time to continually reassess your strategy, you would hopefully notice that going west is the better decision to make.

The direction of your work matters most.

As Elon Musk said on working 100 hour weeks, “Even if I do the exact same thing as someone working only 40 hours a week, I will accomplish things 2 ½ times faster than they will.”

That’s true, isn’t it?

But, working 100 hours a week with 80 hours spent on reading comic books and 20 hours on Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company will create much fewer results. It’s quite clear that Elon’s goal is not becoming well-versed in comics, isn’t it?

If that’s your goal, if you love comic books, more power to you. That’s most important, we must understand our motives and why we are doing certain things and not others. Why do you spend 10 hours a week making meals for yourself? Do you enjoy that? Then great.

But if you’re doing so necessity and it takes away from tasks and activities that reward you and fuel you, you might need to reassess your reason for spending so much time in the kitchen. Do you detest leftovers that much? Is there no meal prep service that is economical for you?

The best thing that I think any of us can do is simply ask why and then ask why again and then ask why again and then ask it again and again and again until we cannot answer it anymore. Ultimately, we will not have all the answers — but God will. God is our great creator and therefore implanted goals within us.

Let’s think about a person named Suzanne who is working within a restaurant.

She’s been at the restaurant for 7 years. Why?

She loves the environment and the people.

She is now a manager at that restaurant and has been for 3 years. Why?

She loves the growth opportunity and the ability to train others.

She turned down an offer to manage a different restaurant for $20,000 more each year. Why?

She respects the owners of this establishment too much to leave them and knows that in the next 5–10 years they will retire.

Why is it important that they will retire in the near future?

Suzanne is one of the longest-tenured workers and knows all the ins and outs of the restaurant.

Why does Suzanne care that she knows all the ins and outs of the restaurant?

Suzanne aspires to own her own restaurant one day.

Why does Suzanne want her own restaurant rather than just manage it?

She wants more influence and control over the success and direction of the restaurant and its growth.

Why does Suzanne care about that?

She wants it to be part of her and she wants the restaurant to resemble her?

Why does Suzanne want that?

She doesn’t know.

That’s the end. Once you cannot ask why anymore, then it’s just because. In this example, Suzanne cares so deeply for creating an atmosphere and a restaurant that resembles her and impacts others.

The thing to see in that example with someone named Suzanne is that if she did not know why she was aspiring to be a restaurant owner, she might have missed out on an opportunity by accepting the other management opportunity for an extra $20,000.

But, because she was aware that money does not drive her in that way, she was able to decline that opportunity and continue aspiring an ownership opportunity within the restaurant that she greatly respects.

Results could be anything from excitement and enjoyment to money and promotions or anything in between.

I think that it is all dependent on what we are looking to do and what really matters to us.

I recently wrote about the value of keeping a list of accomplishments.

This is a great practice that will keep us centered and allow us to identify what is rewarding to us and why.

Everyone’s list will look different and some people might have mostly financial accomplishments, while some people will share that they made someone smile and that is a great accomplishment for them that day.

Without a compass — God’s compass — we may be working in haste without purpose.

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