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That One Goal

Concentration of productive effort instead of divided attention

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Photography by Kal

Having missed 70-80% of my goals for nearly five years, I had a deep feeling of failure at the end of every year. I was very grateful for all that I had achieved but a part of me felt like a failure, a natural feeling I didn’t fight.

Last two weeks of 2019 I took time to reflect in a different way. I asked myself every morning what did I really care about? I asked everyday till my answer was distilled to only one thing as at 1 January 2020. Reflection isn’t always about quantitatively measuring what you have achieved versus what was l eft unfinished. I realised that my individual goals were achievable but cumulatively they divided my energy and time in a way that I couldn’t achieve them all simultaneously. Time and energy in your body are finite; you have to decide what do you really care about. The 20-30% goals I had achieved usually were the ones I really cared about and invested all my energy into.

My actions were like a butterfly. Jumping from one goal to another to make them all work. Never taking a moment to feel which one I truly cared about. In the world of doing more, having more and achieving more, I forgot less is more. Chasing one goal after another makes you realise in time that you haven’t really lived any of your goals. While you were living one you were already chasing another, and so on. We are not mindful of what we choose to chase. We choose to chase because we are like a hamster on a wheel—we need to keep going. Never letting go of that addiction of chasing something new.

Having to focus all the energy on one goal that you truly care about helps free up space and time. Concentration of productive effort instead of divided attention. For some, choosing one goal can be difficult, in that case I suggest to choose a maximum of two of your most important goals. Still follow the strategy of one goal at a time though. Take one step, one day, and one goal at a time. You will see how quickly you reach them and how satisfied you will feel because you have given it your all!

For me, 1 January 2020 has been different. I now only have one goal. It’s simple—pursue happiness. Afterall, we do everything we do because we want to be happy.

What’s your One Goal this year? I hope you find it and truly enjoy the journey towards it.

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