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Don’t focus too much on the end goal

When you were a kid did you ever play computer games?  Had the obsession to get the top score and put 3 funny (or rude) letters on the leaderboard to commemorate your greatness? (Not that it happens now of course, I'm much more mature)

I can remember the adrenalin of almost getting there, seeing the glory, visualising the gloating to my mates as we all crowded around the big arcade game at the corner shop.  Ahhh Galaga I miss you.

I've been watching my son get his addict on with his new ipod touch, asking me for a new app game almost every day.  He's pretty good at these games, but he has reminded me of an old habit I used to have, which frustrated the ......, well frustrated me a lot.

You see him getting closer to his highest score, he's absolutely flying (Game of choice at the moment is Subway Surfer), [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYysQOHTimo&w=560&h=315]he'll then sense he's getting close to his score, look up at the top right to check out his score and how close he is.  Inevitably BANG! he crashes and burns.  I used to hate that, and I assure you he still does.... passionately.

It's a tough lesson to learn, and one I still struggle with.  Having too much focus on the end goal and not the activity that goes on to reach it.  You do the right things, the right way the majority of the time the rewards will come.  Take your eyes off that and focus on something else, the score, the cash, the commission, whatever it is that quantifies your success, you start limiting your chances of being successful.  Success is a sum of all its parts, ensure you get all the parts right!

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Comment by Rob on September 25, 2012 at 6:09am

Great post, I think this is a great philosophy. It's probably easier to have this mentality as an organisation grows. I remember there was no way that I could have focussed on the 'journey' rather than the destination when we started our company. It was more about survival. However, this is an unsustainable mindset as you grow. I find breaking a task down into component parts the best way to achieve goals

Comment by Tim Spagnola on September 26, 2012 at 7:47am

Love this post Dan - thanks for sharing.

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