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Are We Too Goal Oriented?

I just read this quote by Muhammed Ali on my Twitter feed: “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.‘”  It made me wonder: are we too goal oriented? Is it worth spending months, years or even decades doing something we hate, just to achieve some goal we feel compelled to achieve for who-knows-what-reasons?bigstockphoto_young_muscular_man_flexing-50-percent

I’m not saying goals aren’t important. As small business owners and entrepreneurs, it’s especially important to set goals if your business is to grow. And sure, there is always some sacrifice involved in achieving small business goals: time, effort and a certain amount of freedom.

So, then the question is, how much are we willing to sacrifice for our goals? I suspect that most of us start businesses because we love what we do, so we aren’t hating every moment of the journey – like Ali claimed to have done. And I’d also suspect that most people feel the sacrifice is worth the reward in achieving their goals, and don’t literally hate the process.

But are we happy?

How much are we giving up to be relevant in a society that values “success”, achievement and sacrifice? Have we become so future-focused that we’ve forgotten to live in the present? Are we suffering through our days doing tasks we hate, giving up freedom, fun, leisure and even our physical and mental health for some elusive end-reward?  And if so, what is the toll?

What do you think?



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