The original intention Perfect Manifesto was a way for me to track and be accountable for my goals – especially for the big, long term ones.
My biggest vision was career progression, notably my aspiration to fight up the ranks and be a Project Manager in my company by March 2022.
This was no mere wild dream, but a planned based on reality, broke down into small and medium goals, with clear achievement milestones before reaching the big one.
The timescales was set from what I had experienced observing the journey of others, measuring typically how long they sat in a post before advancing – all perfectly planned towards a SMART model.
Except it wasn’t.
I’ve not reached the deadline, but know it’s unlikely I will reach this on time – failing to account for the fact my organisation would undergo a major “restructuring programme for a vibrant organisation to meet it’s skill needs” (read normal person terms – making people redundant).
The plan never accounted for a period of having to wait around while various political decisions got made and then having to apply for my own job.
This meant my choice was:
- adjust my goal slightly by becoming a Project Manager elsewhere
- stay loyal and endure to get to the end goal
I choose to suck it up, I’d fallen in love with the vision of being the boy who was once responsible for ensuring the printer was stacked with paper to become a leader of projects!
Figuring once the redundancies had been dished out, this would open the path to achieve my goal with no impact on the planned date.
18 months later…
My employers continue their dream for the perfect organisation continues and it’s been difficult maintaining moral as various political and environmental changes go down.
But then I think, self-improvement is all about a quest to improve one’s life. When you embark on this journey you take steps to develop controls to meet your aspirations, it’s only as you start executing these you realise how out of control the world around you is.
You set goals, you make plans, you have a system, but then your reality changes and what worked yesterday doesn’t work today.
I like control…
I like to plan things to the specific detail to ensure everything goes just right – hell I’m the type of guy who organises pre-date dry runs to ensure I got to the best bars and think how to drive the conversation.
The problem with being too into control is when the unexpected happens you’re your plan falls apart because of it.
I’ve written posts talking about this, talking about keeping calm and cool, but for my goals I’ve been angry, frustrated and feeling like a failure.
Wait! I never set goals to feel worse about myself.
Therefore, the only thing I could do is learn to let go.
Just let go…
The foundations of your goals can start to restrict you and you realise you have to escape that structure choking you.
Use those plans to drive you, but don’t make your self-worth all about the feeling of ticking off must do’s before a particular date, otherwise what you are doing is no better than a bucket list.
Self-improvement is designed to bring discomfort and life without discomfort is nothingness.
Just like in Fight Club where Tyler Durden (or if you want to go with the books ‘the Mechanic’) urges the Narrator to let go of the wheel of his car*, learn to let go of the manifestations we created holding us back impacting our ability to enjoy life.
Goals are fantastic for providing a vision, accountability and drive, but they shouldn’t be used as a stick to beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan.
Reflect, readjust, relax, just let go and see where you get taken.
*PSA. For those who always take my Fight Club references as gospel – I do not endorse letting go of a car steering wheel, this is simply a pop culture metaphor to get my point across, thank you.
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