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GTD® is Not About Achieving Goals in The Future


Do you love making goals?

I think most of us do. We all enjoy foreseeing our ideal future. Like the house we want to live in, the money we want to have in our bank, the relationships we want in our lives.

We are all pro goal makers.

But being a pro goal maker doesn’t make one a pro goal hitter. Because life happens. And it goes without saying, things are never in our control.

Does it mean we should stop making goals? 

No goals are useful. The value of making a goal is not in the goal itself, but comes from how it orients us to make decisions in the present moment.

Let me explain…

The other day I was watching a documentary on the making of the legendary Indian film Lagaan. An Academy nominated, multiple national award-winning, magnum opus. 

A film so meticulously planned that it was considered way ahead of its time by the virtue of its planning. But as the documentary progresses, we see that despite the detailed planning, everything unforseen that could go wrong, does go wrong.

From hovering aircrafts interrupting shoots, to sudden accidents on set, to managing real life crowds, the film encountered numerous problems.

Watching this inspiring behind the scenes story made me realize that goals are a lot like the script of our lives.

You could have planned it to the last screenplay, but when you arrive at the sets you have new challenges thrown at you, new priorities to look at. 

And if it could happen to the mighty Lagaan, it could happen to us.

And that by no measure means that you have failed, contrary to what popular opinion would have you believe. 

Productivity is not about achieving goals for the future. It’s about using goals to make the right choices in the present moment

Here is an example closer to all of us, COVID 19.

Thousands of businesses, who had a yearly plan set out, suddenly had no means to achieve them. Disarray, uncertainty, lack of opportunities, everything was thrown at us, when we least expected it.

Here is the key mantra to remember is..

If we’re fixed to our goals, then we’re setting ourselves for failure. But if we have flexibility built into how we approached goals, we focus our energy on adapting to new goals by changing approaches. Being nimble, and learning fast.

How we turned uncertainties to opportunities at Calm Achiever…

We set out our goals for 2020. You can read them here. Some of these are coming true, but things have changed. Two, well prepped steps we took were:

  • Moved from in-person workshops to virtual workshops
  • Move from In-person coaching to virtual coaching

By focusing on virtual offerings, we now have more coaching clients than we can handle.

GTD is about looking at your goals like guide-posts. And as long as you have that, rest assured you will find yourself in the driving seat of your car. 

The destination might not always be what you set out for, but you will be in control.

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