The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Forget your goal

Something I observed in an organization I once was a member of, was how the members were setting up projects. Whenever they saw a project they liked, new members would join that project. They would then invest themselves fully in it until it was achieved. Once done, they would feel happy with their achievement and settle with it. Having achieved the desired result, they found it hard to invest themselves in another project.

For the organization, this was an issue. Members would not stay for a long time with the organization and there was a constant need to recruit new members. It had nothing to do with the existing members or their pleasure to invest themselves. It simply was that achieving the goal meant that they believed they had done what could be done.

It’s something individuals will also experience. It’s the principle the bucket list is based upon. The objective is to have seen or experienced a series of places or activities, most often to be able to brag about it. And it can be what serves people best in situations in which achieving that goal is all that needs to happen. If someone needs to lose a few kilos of weight, there is no need to continue once it is achieved.

A different situation is given if there is a desire to achieve an objective that goes beyond immediate imagination and has a path that cannot be easily described.

For an individual, this means for example to achieve a sustainable change by integrating a quest into one’s life. That would be a decision to follow one’s purpose or to become an expert in something. Taking it from the perspective of an organization it would mean providing members with visibility on the sustainable change they can contribute to. That could for example happen through a vision the members could adhere to or a variety of activities focused on the organization’s field of activity.

It’s an approach that transforms the existing system. It’s based on establishing an overarching goal that will not be precise. It can’t be as there is no means to predict the transformation leading to its achievement.

Take for example a daily workout. The resulting transformation is based on repetitive activity. What they will be is unknown beforehand. The only thing one may know, is that to be effective every activity will be there to solve a specific problem toward the overarching goal.

Setting out to achieving a goal that is way bigger than oneself invites one to forget that goal. Otherwise, it easily feels too big to be achievable and too frustrating to wait for seeing change happening. Keeping it in mind and deciding every day on what problem to solve toward that goal transforms the journey into one allowing satisfaction to occur at regular intervals. The doing becomes something enjoyable and the objective something to walk toward instead of something one yearns for.



a path in the woods at wintertime



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