Monthly Archives:November 2011

When goals can fail you: Pursuing purpose above profit

17 Nov 11
Daniel Smith
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Satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals. Failing to understand this… can lead sensible people down self-destructive paths.
Daniel Pink in Drive

Goals are powerful and useful. They can help move us forward and create a whole new world. Yet they only give us fulfillment to the extent that they are congruent and aligned with our highest intentions.

One study mentioned by Pink explored college graduates. Some set out into the real world in the pursuit of extrinsic rewards – to become wealthy or famous. Others wanted more intrinsic rewards – to improve their lives and to grow.

Two years later, some of those who wanted to be rich and famous had succeeded. Yet they only enjoyed the same level of satisfaction, self-esteem and positive emotions that they had while at university, while suffering from more anxiety and depression. Those who succeed in their quest to improve their lives and to grow not only enjoyed even higher satisfaction and subjective well-being, but lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Connecting with purpose is a powerful thing. One quick yet powerful way to explore our sense of purpose and connect with intrinsic motivation is the Outcome, Intention, Consequences process.