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The Twin Demons Of Goal Setting


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Why do most goals fail?

It's not going to do with willpower.

And everything to do with economics.

If you don't understand the economics of human decision making, most goals will fail.

Especially if you follow most goal setting courses.

For example, most goal courses say they should be specific, and time limited.

This idea has been repeated so many times, and in so many different KINDS of seminars, it seems like a law of nature.

But if you follow those TWO ideas, there is a HIGH probability your goal won't pan out.

There are MANY reasons.

One is that NOBODY can predict the future.

Even with super computers, and highly calibrated weather measuring systems, they still can only GUESS about the weather.

Now, weather is a complex system.

It falls under the category of chaos theory.

Multiple, inter-dependent, polynomial variables.

So even when we KNOW the equations to describe the weather system, we can't use those same equations to PREDICT the future weather state.

This is a limit of MATHEMATICS.

Back when Newton discovered gravity, he had to invent a new kind of mathematics to understand it, and describe it, and predict it.

So far, we haven't been able to invent a kind of math that allows us to predict things like the weather.

Now compare the weather to human behavior.

The weather is an inorganic system.

It is absolutely BOUND by objective laws.

Humans are very, very subjective.

The decision to create any goal is based on your PRESENT, subjective, emotional state.

And unless you are a robot or a Vulcan, your subjective emotional state varies a lot.

Even more complicated is that all human decisions and actions are BOUND by economics.

Nobody does ANYTHING unless they believe the BENEFITS are going to be worth the COSTS.

So even a specific goal only a month in the future has a LOW PROBABILITY of happening.

When you make the decision TODAY, you only have an IDEA of the costs and benefits.

Tomorrow, you might take a few steps toward the goal.

Getting new information about those costs and benefits.

AND your subjective value of that goal will also change.

When you first decide on the goal in the abstract, the costs and benefits become more real.

And if you are like every other normal human, you OVERESTIMATE the benefits.

And you UNDERESTIMATE the costs.

But as you move forward, three things happen.

The costs become more real, which tends to make them become HIGHER.

The benefits start to seem less appealing, which makes them become LOWER.

This causes your subjective opinion about the goal to CHANGE.

It is absolutely RATIONAL to give up when you reach the tipping point.

When the COSTS become greater than the BENEFITS.

What's the solution?

Get rid of the two twin demons of goal setting.

Forget about a specific outcome.

And forget about it being time-limited.

This way, you'll keep getting better.

Learn How:


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