Saturday, 9 June 2007

Goals, Happiness and the Peak of Achievement

At the Lancaster University Alumni meeting on Thursday night I had the pleasure of hearing Sir Chris Bonington speak about one of his expeditions to the summit of Mount Everest in the mid 80’s, in a presentation called the Peak of Achievement.

What was fascinating (apart from the photos of the first Apple ‘laptop’) was his certainty that in any expedition the journey (and in this case, the teamwork) is just as important as the destination. Businesses would perform a whole lot better if they realised this, he said.

How right he is. Many people we coach start with the perspective that “I’ll be happy with my job/life/self when XYZ happens”. Happiness is therefore seen as something to be achieved in the future which is conditional on completing a specific goal. Happiness is something that you can achieve in the future, and having some goals in work and life is crucial to personal growth, however the mistake often made is to focus so much on the reaching the goal in the future that you forget about the present.

You can also be happy now, in the moment. So remember that it’s the process you are following now that is as important to your happiness and self-development as the achievement itself, be that getting a new job, being promoted, losing weight or climbing Mount Everest.

No comments: