Most of the astronauts who went to the moon in the 60s and 70s came back and got depression. I’ve noticed that many new homes in my area go up for sale shortly after the owners move in. When I find myself playing cards on my phone I always get a letdown when I win a game. White men over 65 (in America) are increasingly prone to suicide. The 7 year itch plagues many marriages. What’s going on here?
Achieving goals is a double edged sword. Setting and achieving goals gives us a wonderful high. However, it’s the working toward the goal that provides the longest lasting energy in our life. Getting to your goals is…well…a bit anticlimactic.
I am the biggest fan alive of having goals. Written, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. I believe that every person would be better off if they lived their life by written goals and our whole society would be better off. But keeping an “inventory” of goals is so important for a rich life and good mental health.
Here’s what NASA did: when the astronauts who came back from the moon started showing signs of depression, they coached the crews of the following flights to set goals NOW for AFTER they came back. When they did this, the astronauts did much better.
And here is the application for us all. Create several goals to work on. Set priorities and make plans to achieve them. Plan your work, then work your plan. But set some short term goals and some long term goals as well. Create the discipline of planning your next move while you’re working on the current move. Of course, some people can go overboard on this and plan out the next 20 years without achieving any of them. We’re talking about balance here. Plan your life, then live your plan.
The applications for your success in sales, business, leadership, relationships, and your own self esteem are huge. People who do this well emit such an aura of confidence they attract other successful people and attractive opportunities. They get in a habit of goal achievement. This creates a feeling like a kid at Christmas even if they are 70 years old. They create success more easily than most people.
And it all starts with setting goals and working on them. So, get out your pen and start with a list of 20. And here is my offer: for the first 30 people who email me their goals, I will review them and send them back. So get going.
P.S. This is not easy. It’s hard. If you think setting meaningful goals, working to achieve them, and planning your next move while working on the current one is easy, its not. Do it anyway. Bob R