Directional Living

tara1By Tara Dimick

We’ve all read the books that teach us to dream big and set goals, and that by doing so, we can achieve anything. I completely buy into the power of goal setting. However, over the last several years, I have struggled with it, because sometimes our dreams and goals conflict with our values.

Several years ago, I was acknowledged for my work and the growth of my company by an organization. I was told ahead of time about the honor and even given seats so that my family could join me at the presentation. This was exactly the type of “atta girl” I had been working so hard for. Finally, someone had taken notice that I was achieving my goals and dreams.

Fast forward to the day of the event; they announced my name and I went to the front of the audience to receive the award, but as I looked out at the crowd, all I could see where the empty seats where my family was supposed to be. Those seats weren’t empty because my family was mad at me. They weren’t empty because my family was too busy to be there either.

Those seats were empty because I had never even told my family there were seats to be in. I had been too busy striving for my goals to even pay attention to what really mattered. My goals had taken over my values—maybe had even become my values.

This realization jolted me so much that I tore up my goals and started again, but this time with my values first. But I found I couldn’t do it. I could not write a single goal because I now knew the consequences of each goal. I also knew that I could not hold myself accountable to ensure that the goals would not once again become what I valued.

I still set goals and develop strategies for the work of the business, but for me as the owner, I’ve made a shift to what I would call “directional living.”  It’s really pretty simple. Directional living is the process of becoming comfortable with uncertainty so that you can go on a journey in a direction that is guided by your values.

I challenge you to define your values, get comfortable with uncertainty and enjoy the journey.