Setting the Direction

by J.B.

Having problems reaching your goals? This may help.

Just yesterday I was thinking about this. Has it ever occurred to you that you decide on something specific, let's say for example you decide that on your date tonight you're going to go for a kiss, and as the date draws to an end and your kiss is not there yet, you feel pressured to get the kiss and rush it, screwing up the timing?

Well it has happened to me several times, especially once when I set out to get a girl's phone number/email. The closer I got to the place where she was at, the harder it became for me to get it. I almost forgot to speak and bailed out at the last moment. At the time I wrote it off as lack of experience, but yesterday I stumbled upon an interesting discovery.

It concerns the setting of specific goals, like getting a girl's phone number, getting a kiss at the end of the date, or during the date, etc. I have found three good reasons why you should not be setting specific goals. Before I tell you what these reason are, let me say that this does not mean that specific goals are bad.

For example, if you have a meeting at 2:30 and are talking to a nice girl during lunch, you MUST set a specific goal to leave at 2:30 or risk losing your job! This kind of specific goal can also make it easier for you to get other specific goals, like get her phone number before you leave and stuff like that, but I digress.

Here are the three reasons why you should not set specific goals.

1. Once you decide on a specific goal, for most people the very next thing that runs through their head is "How do I do it?" At this point usually most people start worrying themselves with a lot of specifics, setting subgoals, thinking of the things they should say and things they should do.

This makes the whole thing a big deal and complicates it, while making you worry about details instead of having fun. You're inside your head, while she is outside.

2. The second thing is pressure, which I talked about earlier. The pressure to get it done, especially when you get really close to doing it. Pressure causes things like loss of concentration, it makes you very impatient so you tend to rush things, it gets you to be careless and forgetful, and it makes you look stupid.

On top of it all, pressure also means no fun!

Even though 1 and 2 are two separate things, they happen most likely at the same time. You feel pressure and frustration with details simultaneously. Number three is a little different.

3. When you set a specific goal, you may be selling yourself short!! Since you never know how far you might go, by setting a goal, you can reach it quickly and then be stuck with no other "goals" to reach so you either have to improvise, or bail out, or rely on the other person to dictate what to do next. This brings all the problems above to the table once again.

Amazingly enough it is this reason that also dictates the solution:

What is the solution then, not setting any specific goals? If that's the case, what kind of goals should we set? Generic goals? What are generic goals?

Actually generic goals, like "having fun" or "enjoying myself" are just as bad, because they are so general you cannot focus.

The solution is to think of goals as destinations. When you set a goal it's like buying a ticket for a destination. When you get off, you will never know what lies beyond that goal. So instead of buying a ticket for a destination, think in terms of focusing in a direction which includes the things that you want in it!

Buy a ticket and stay on the bus for as far as it goes.

Focusing in a direction does two things that neither specific goals, nor generic goals do.

First, it focuses your attention into a narrower path so you don't feel like you wasted time or feel confused and don't know what to do next. And second, since it includes the things that you want in it, so you have the freedom to go as far as you choose, or as far as the other person chooses. There's no pressure of missing your stop, and you have the possibility of going further!

Don't set specific goals; focus on a direction.

Let's take an example:

Let's say that you've been dating this girl for a while and you feel you have to move things forward into the physical realm. (I don't care how long you've been dating her.) You can make a decision and set a goal to get a kiss by the end of tonight's date. The end draws near and you're thinking about the kiss, while she is wandering why you got so cold all of a sudden. She will feel the vibe change!

If you had thought in terms of setting a direction, let's say "I'm going to get more intimate tonight than previous dates" the first thing you could have done to fulfill that is whatever you didn't do in the previous dates. Which could simply be sitting closer to her and holding her hand, while looking at her eyes softly. Mission completed, direction set.

But the direction has in it the possibility of getting more intimate. So only the sky is the limit!

So the direction feeds on itself. Now everything that you do has a purpose (getting more intimate) while at the same time there's no pressure to stop on any stop so you can let the thing develop.

As long as you think of the direction and not set a destination, like a kiss, making out, or sex, you feel free to go as far as you want, or as far as she will allow. The whole idea behind this is to feel that freedom of having a purpose, or goal, without the expense of pressure.