The Goal Behind The Goal

By Michael Roderick  -  On 21 Jan, 2015 -  0 comments

When I used to direct shows one of the things I would have conversations with my actors about all the time was what lay behind a character’s objective in the scene. For example, if I asked one of my actors what they wanted in the scene and they replied, “I want my father to pay attention to me” I’d follow that up with, “Why? What does that give you?” and eventually they’d come to the REAL thing they wanted in the scene and we could then get very specific about their action steps to get there. It’s interesting to notice that I see a lot of the same issues with entrepreneurs.

When I’m teaching my PLAE class or meeting with someone new who is telling me about their business idea, I am often surprised by the lack of specificity in what it is that THEY want. Maybe it has to do with the fact that some people feel like they’re bragging or that they don’t deserve whatever it is that they may get, but there’s a lot of jargon floating around out there and not nearly enough truth. With that being said, I want to talk about the idea of the goal behind the goal. Most of us have goals that we have put out into the world. Some of us have not explicitly mentioned our goals to anyone, but we have them nonetheless. One thing I’ve noticed from the conversations I have had is that much like the actor I mentioned earlier, we are missing the goal behind the goal.

We have something that we have decided that we want, but we haven’t really decided why it is that we want it.

Take a moment right now to think about this for yourself. Do you have a clear defined goal for this week or this month? What are you hoping achieving that goal will do for you? It’s harder to come up with the answer because it’s always easier to place the goal outside of yourself and your ego, but the fact of the matter is, you get something for yourself if you achieve that goal so what is it?

One of the interesting things I have found as a result of asking this question is that sometimes I realize that I actually don’t want what I thought I wanted and I save time by not going down that path with a project that isn’t giving me what I need. Your goals have to be for you and no one else. Plenty of people make them to impress others, but ultimately they have to come back to the question of what they get out of the experience. So here are three very simple questions about your goals:

What do YOU want?

Why do YOU want it?

What do YOU get if you achieve the goal?

The deeper you go with these questions, the more clear you become on what to actually do with your life.

So take a few minutes today to look at the goal behind the goal and decide:

Do you still want it?


Now go out and make something happen for YOU.