(#367) Understand Your Goal Motivation

June 4, 2017

Create a space for transparency, authenticity, and accountability for yourself.

During the life of this blog, we have examined often the power and purpose of goals.  In addition to the “what” we have looked at the “how,” “when” and “why.”

Last week, when I facilitated an Austin, Texas workshop, I encouraged the audience to consider The Six Ps when it comes to why they want to speak or publish.  The same steps easily apply to other professional or personal goals.  Consider how each of the following may act as goal motivators.

  • Publish, Present, or Perish.
    • In the world of higher education, publishing may be a requirement for contract renewal. In your case, your motivation may be to lose weight or suffer a heart attack; save money or never enjoy a comfortable retirement; or find affordable healthcare or face the prospects of life without basic coverage. Does your goal have a distinctive and critical sense of urgency?
  • Promotion.
    • Perhaps a professional goal will help you advance to another level of development within your calling. Maybe you need to promote a community resource for a specific service area. Or maybe you finally decided that you need to promote a non-digital, distraction-free hour every night for your family to re-connect. When you reach your goal (or while you journey to your goal), what core value(s) does the goal advance?
  • Passion.
    • It might prove beneficial to do a “passion check” for your goal. What compelling emotion or desire moves you in this direction? Is it your goal or someone else’s dream for you?
  • Personal Connection.
    • A young woman in a recent workshop shared with the group that she wanted to write a book about breast cancer. She believes she has a decided vantage point as someone who has experienced, survived, and grown because of the cancer that touched her life. Her passion and a personal connection are twin motivators pushing her forward.  Can you clearly articulate how your personal and professional goal personally resonates for you?
  • Profit.
    • Maybe the pay range for the new job listing caught your attention. Or perhaps the pitch at a seminar on how to flip houses sounded promising. Pause and ask, “Is money the motivating factor here? Will it be enough to keep me moving forward? And will the goal of profit connect with my core values?”
  • Prestige.
    • Some people want to publish a book just so they can see their name on the cover. The ego boost becomes the drive. Do you find that your goal direction connects directly to status, standing, and reputation?

The Six Ps can help you clarify the “why” of your goals.  One is neither better nor worse than others are.  Each item can create a space for transparency, authenticity, and accountability for yourself.

Video recommendation for the week.

Consider the message of this TED Talk about understanding why we do what we do and the impact that has on our authenticity.

Make it an inspiring week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my new book, Stories About Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network™ (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website  (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2017. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.

(#298) Do You Have “Hell, Yeah” Goals?

February 7, 2016

When you establish new goals,  consider these four components.
Give your goals a second R.E.A.D.

During one of my recent podcast recordings, film producer Pepper Lindsey posed an intriguing question:  “What does success look like to you?” (This podcast will air on March 15, 2016. Click here for more information.) What a wonderfully thought-provoking query.  Consider it for yourself. Is success for you measured by money, fame, a certain title, ego, an opulent life style, a simple lifestyle, making a difference in your community, driving a larger car, or taking trips? Something else?

Derek Sivers, in his book Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur, asks a similarly interesting question:  “How do you grade yourself?”

Does success to you only matter if other people notice? Does success only matter if (for instance) you have your name on a park or building? Or is it more connected to the programs you helped start in that park or building—programs that will live well beyond you and your name recognition?


Both of these questions tie directly to why we want to do what we want to do—our goals.

Goals can be powerful motivators. They provide direction, purpose and energy.  And, if we are not clear on the what and the why of our goals they can lead us in unhealthy directions. We may even beat ourselves up because we have not achieved a certain goal (“Life is passing me by”; “I’m not getting any younger!”).

How are we grading ourselves? How do we define success?

Have you had a remarkable career (read: you have made a difference for those around you) but because you have not reached the “next level” (however you define that) you do not consider it a success? What is important—the difference made or the title not achieved?

Do you take on projects and tasks that you’re truly juiced about or do you settle for anything with the hope it will bring you something.  Sivers proposes you only consider those goals to which you say “Hell, yeah!” Projects that give you energy and purpose

We all have different versions/definitions of what success looks like and how we grade ourselves. The point: Be aware of  and understand the assumptions you make when establishing your goals—and ask whether they meet your definition of success. Allow me to use a personal example.

I learned early on to carefully weigh whether I will take on a speaking or writing opportunity.  I use what I have come to call my R.E.A.D. principle. That is, for me to take on an engagement (a new goal), four components must be in place.

  • Relationship. I have to work with people I enjoy and respect. This requires validation by and for all parties and not manipulation by any party.
  • Excitement. I have to have enjoyment preparing for and doing the event. This is a major piece of the “Hell, yeah!” factor.
  • Authenticity. I have to be allowed to be my authentic true self. Don’t ask me to be something I am not. Yes, the event is about your needs and your people. However, if who I am does not fit that need, then we should not sign a contract. (Why would you even ask me?)
  • Difference. I want my participation to make a difference in the lives of the people in the audience. I don’t want to waste their time with exhortations and clichés.

You see, my goal is not to have an engagement. It goes beyond the numbers. My goal is to have the right engagement. If the potential gig does not have a proper R.E.A.D. for me, I will no longer agree to it.

When setting and re-evaluating your goals give them a second R.E.A.D. and determine if you can enthusiastically yell, “Hell, yeah!”

Video Recommendation for the Week:

While this video clip looks at entrepreneurial decisions, consider where and when you can apply this in your life. Yes, when you “work for someone else” you may feel you have fewer options to say “Hell, no!”

And then, that might provide reason for another conversation to have with yourself.

Make it a wonderfully successful week as you pursue your “hell, yeah!” goals.—H.T.R.B. as needed.

You can subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here.

You can find my podcast series at Growth and Resilience (http://stevepiscitelli.com/video-media/podcasts). 

Check out my website  (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).

My books Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff?  (3rd edition) are published by Pearson Education.

(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


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