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They'll all fall

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Thundercat's: The bad and the good

Thundercat has started posting very good articles on his blog. The last one is "The Secret Of Success, Deservedness Issues, And The Gift Of Anger". This is a great piece, but it miss the part on how to make the goals help instead of HURT you.

Just making up random goals and then pursuing them hard WILL screw up parts of your life. And the goals are likely to be lousy goals - hard to reach, and giving much smaller benefit than they could have.

Here are two steps that should help fix this:

  • Do ecology checks on each goal. How will my life be different if I reach this goal? What parts will be worse? Using the information from the next point, what different goals could be used?
  • For each goal (wanted outcome), ask yourself: "What will this give me?" Repeat until you're unable to answer. For instance, an example of how this could go point 5 above: What will this give? More money. What will more money give me? More stuff. What will more stuff give me? More status. What will more status give me? More influence with some of the people I talk to.

    Here, the end result is quite different from the original statement. This gives different perspective, and it allow different means to reach the goal. Instead of learning about the stock market (which is a multi-year all-spare-time project if you want to beat putting your money in an index fund - almost no fund managers are able to beat the index funds) you can go read Cialdini's "Influence" and put the money in an index fund.

    And you can keep your friends.

I've posted on creating good goals and fullfilling them previously:
I'll be posting more on the meta question technique (the second technique mentioned above) later. I just needed to get this stuff out.


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