Goals Achieve Success and Career: Meet with Barack Obama or be realistic


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Goals and visions are important to achieve something, it is said. But must it always be the big goals in job search and career planning? Or does it help to use targets as guardrails? New York

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Set goal and achieve: Meet Obama!

Some time ago I was talking to a friend. His wish: to meet Barack Obama, he told me. And pushed after: "But of course I know that this is not possible .." I thought: Great fantasy ... but why not? After all, you need goals to achieve something. Or not? Incidentally, I didn't have the goal at all and didn't even dream of it. And yet, surprisingly, I did the same thing Conference with Obama.

But that's not why I find Barack Obama's example good for a number of reasons when it comes to personal success and dreams: First, Obama, as the first colored US President, was a good example of how to achieve high goals - the embodiment of the American Way, so to speak of life.

The fear of the unknown

And then of course such a meeting with him is an absolutely insane goal. At first glance. At second glance, there are definitely opportunities: A job or internship with a foreign correspondent in Washington, for example - in the aforementioned case, corresponding previous experience is available. And already the goal moves a little bit closer. That is also the difference between dreams and and concrete goals.

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In fact, young professionals in particular, as well as many “more experienced” job seekers, are really afraid of tackling such goals. Because often they have to leave familiar paths and dare to do something unknown - something that perhaps nobody in their environment has done before or that seems so unreachable to them that they don't dare to tackle it.

Healthy Realism?

Because the human brain is designed so that we like to stick to the familiar and proven, but makes us new and scary. We do not like what we do not know. Tom Diesbrock has just published a new book on the topic, that I read with pleasure and reviewed here.

Diesbrock also does away with a common prejudice: that of healthy realism. He tells of a client who had a very negative self-image of himself - but which the customer himself classified as realistic. And Diesbrock writes: "I have a realistic problem with the word, because in my eyes it is often misused!"

Is the glass half full or half empty?

In fact, especially in Germany, it is usually realistic to judge a matter negatively. Even if this negative assessment is unrealistically exaggerated. In contrast, a positive view is quickly considered a joke - like the desire to meet Barack Obama.

Therefore, many job seekers only embrace the opportunities offered to them, rather than just thinking about what they want - and perhaps finding opportunities they have not even considered.

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Realism versus goals

This alleged “realism” is anything but conducive to reaching the goal: Because who quickly devalues ​​his goals as unrealistic and therefore unreachable, obstructs one thing above all: the perspective on the way there, on the many small goals, the step can be solved step by step.

For in psychology one thing is especially important: if your problem seems insoluble, divide it into many small individual problems. The same goes for goals.

Goals as a guard rail

I also have a suitable example of healthy goals: a colleague started a Twitter experiment. In the beginning, the goal was to reach 5000 followers in a few months. Sarcastic comment from her Twitter coach “It always has to be the big goals, right?” But she turned out to be a real realist in achieving the goal:

“For me, goals are like guardrails. How can you achieve 'big' when you think small? I like my guardrails, but I also diverge when things change. ”

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