Recently at a get-together with a few friends the conversation veered onto the topic of society’s goals and accomplishments. One of my friends shared a debate he’d just had with his father about the achievements of their respective generations. His dad’s contention was simple – our generation was not reaching for big enough goals. His generation had aspired to and accomplished putting a man on the moon and inventing antibiotics like penicillin while our generation could only boast of trifles like the iPhone and Facebook. While I believe this view doesn’t fairly represent my generation’s achievements, the old fellow did have a point.
Driving home from the party, I was lost in thought. I couldn’t help but wonder whether my generation really does dream big enough and aspire to high enough goals. Have we become so focused on our day-to-day activities, constantly checking our smartphones and posting to twitter, that we are distracted from personal and business strategies that might propel us to greatness? Sometimes I fear that in the rush to respond to the present, we’ve forgotten how to set and strive for those Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) that inspire us to achieve great things.
What is your personal or professional BHAG? Are you stretching yourself or your organization to achieve amazing things that will change the world? The first step towards achieving your BHAG is to write it down so you can refer to it often. It is all too easy to get distracted and lose sight of what you are actually trying to achieve in the long run. Keep your BHAG visible so it will stare you in the face every day, keeping you honest.
As I turned into my driveway, lost in thought, I realized with a start that I hadn’t really noticed the route I took home. Then it struck me. You’d never allow yourself to be so distracted by the shiny buttons and lights in your car that you’d forget where you were headed in the first place – we mustn’t let this happen in our lives either!