From 99U: How Goals and Good Intentions Can Hold Us Back

99U is Behance’s education arm, where we share tips & insights on making ideas happen. Through a web magazine, bestselling book and annual conference, we share best practices from the world’s most productive creative people. 

Join a gym and one of the first things the instructor does is talk about your goals – what exactly do you hope to achieve by hoisting weights and pounding the treadmill? Apply for an educational course, and you find yourself bombarded with promotional literature. Here’s the future you: suited, booted and smug. What they’re doing – the gym guy and the marketing department – is highlighting end results. They’re hoping to lure you in by showing you what you could achieve, what you can become.

new study by a pair of researchers at the University of Chicago and the Korea Business School shows that this approach has some benefits. Focusing on goals fires up your intentions to engage in the activities that will help you achieve those goals. But there’s a major downside. Stay focused on your goals and you spoil your experience of the activities you’ll need to pursue. In turn, that makes it far more likely that you’ll drop out early and fail to achieve the very goals that you’re so focused on.

Keep reading here.

Posted on August 6th, 2012 by Jenn
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