Are You Creating Intentional Disappointment?

by Mike on December 21, 2009

It’s Easy To Intentionally Create Disappointment

I was reviewing an old journal when I came across this statement:

Improperly defining your goals results in intentional disappointment. It is an exercise in creating disappointment. Large vague goals do not enable, they disable and wreak havoc and damage.

This statement is in my notes from reading one of the books that has impacted me most in my life; People in Quandries by Wendell Johnson.

What Dr. Johnson is saying is that unless we are clear and specific in our goals, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. If a goal is vague, it’s impossible to know when we hit it. That leads to a feeling of failure. However, the failure was in defining the goal poorly and not giving ourselves a chance to hit it.

Another statement from the same entry:

Disappointment requires expectations unmet and large disappointments require big expectations.

Again, if we are vague in exactly what we are seeking, we will be disappointed in too many cases. When I set very clear goals, I usually hit them. Being specific means I know what I’m after, but just as importantly, I know when I hit it.

My vague goal right now is to launch a new business in 2010 built around buidling blogs for business. That’s the starting point and I’ve been cutting down the scope over the past three weeks. I am looking to limit the initial scope so that I can hit some very specific revenue and market penetration goals.

Part of what I’m working on is what level of service I’m willing to support. I won’t launch a business where I can’t support the customers. I’m working to precisely define that now.

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