Yes, that’s the point.
They get in the way of less important courses of action.
This does reduce flexibility — the flexibility to do what is not worth your time. But you should not set or implement your goals in a way that blinds you to genuine, spontaneous opportunity.
There’s the rub.
Seth Godin had two good posts recently that relate to both sides:
Having goals is a pain in the neck.
If you don’t have a goal (a corporate goal, a market share goal, a personal career goal, an athletic goal…) then you can just do your best. You can take what comes. You can reprioritize on a regular basis. If you don’t have a goal, you never have to worry about missing it. If you don’t have a goal you don’t need nearly as many excuses, either.
Not having a goal lets you make a ruckus, or have more fun, or spend time doing what matters right now, which is, after all, the moment in which you are living.
The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run.
It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.
I just heard Kurt Andersen quote E.B. White with this glorious phrase.
How willing is your organization to be lucky? What about you in your career and your marketing efforts? Or in the people you meet or the places you go or the movies you see or the books you read?
My closest friends each were found as a result of chance encounters and luck. So were my biggest ideas and some of my most successful ventures.
It’s very easy to plot a course for today that minimizes the chance of disappointment or bad outcomes or lousy luck.
I wonder if you could plot a different course, one that created opportunities for good luck?