If I get another email from someone telling me I need to “crush your goals in 2024” I think I’m going to puke.
I spent at least two decades of my adult life crushing my goals. And having nothing but exhaustion to show for it.
I felt like I had been had. Like I had done everything I was supposed to do to be happy—go to a great school, get great grades, to to a great law school, law firm, consulting firm, partnership, IPO…
And on the other side of all of that?
Just a bigger goal.
My clients don’t come to me to crush their goals. Like me, they are already pretty good at that.
They come to be because they want to know what is actually going to make them happy. And what I point them to helps to unravel the “crush it” mindset that has gotten them so far but now threatens to crush THEM.
Crushing It Looks Outward Rather Than Inward
When someone is trying to crush it, you can be pretty sure there is something internal going on. Rules like the following—
- I’ve always believed there is some way in which I am fundamentally flawed or inadequate.
- I can achieve my way out of it.
In other words, there is some big goal that, if I meet it, I will feel better. Or I will “arrive.”
Maybe it’s a degree, or a job title, or a house in the right place, or a second house in the right place.
I tried to achieve my way into feeling okay about myself for decades.
It doesn’t work.
Because there is always more to do. There is always a goal behind the goal, another mountain to climb or race to run, or another digit to add to the exit.
So when the first goal doesn’t get there, certainly it’s because the goal wasn’t big enough, right?
It took me about 30 years to learn the goal wasn’t the issue.
The Only Thing You Have To See To Be Happy
Meeting a goal will never make you happy (for more than a few fleeting moments, anyway).
Your entire experience of the world is happening inside your brain. Based on what your senses tell you, true, but more important than that, based on the stories you tell yourself about what your senses tell you.
You are living in your stories about the world. And most of them are unconscious.
Until you become aware of this, you will continue to write that you are not enough no matter what you actually achieve. Because it will always look like there is something that you need that you don’t already have.
What Stories Do You Believe About Yourself and Your World?
You may have a story that you need to “crush it” to be happy.
But the people who I see who have learned to be happy actually work less and achieve more. They create impact (and money) with ease.
They have time to spend on the things that are important outside of work. Like family.
If you have believed different ideas you’re not even going to see this as a possibility.
If your rules require struggle to make money, for example, you are going to struggle to make money.
If your rules require productivity or efficiency or exhaustion or yes, “crushing goals,” you are not going to let yourself be happy or fulfilled without them. You paradoxically will need to be miserable to be happy.
Each of your rules is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And you can let each of them go.
If you see that you must already be enough (that you can’t NOT be enough) because you are the one creating your experience of being enough, or not enough, you are going to set different goals.
What Do You Really Want?
What do you WANT when you see you don’t actually NEED anything?
When creating can be from a sense of play rather than lack?
What will you create just because it is deliriously FUN to do it?
That’s what the “crushing it” culture says is not possible.
But to me, that’s the place where our capacity to create gets most powerful.
How To Go Deeper
You can be happy without being exhausted.
What would that be like? To fully embrace you and THEN create, rather than thinking you have to create to someone FIX yourself?
This is what I write about. For founders, for original thinkers, at all stages of their journey.
The world needs YOU, in all your brilliance and imperfection.
If you are a founder wanting to scale and sell your company, there are three shifts in identity that can help you do so with twice the impact and half the stress. Take a look at this video.
If you want to build a coaching business where you get to be yourself, help amazing people, and replace your corporate income in the process, here’s a video where I share the top three mistakes I see coaches make when trying to build a sustainable business—
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