The last post ended with a suggestion that one of the factors was that there was generally less financial penalty or risk if the goal was not achieved. Certainly for amateur sports competitors. Obviously for professional athletes, sports are their business so there is financial risk in failing.
4) More Intense Desire for Goal
It’s a strange quirk of human nature that we will sometimes become more passionate about things that may not make a huge material difference to our lives than things that will put money in the bank.
I have observed both in myself and many others, that we will keep the fires of desire stoked for a goal of making a certain team, qualifying for an event or running a race in a certain time. But our desire to achieve more complex business and life goals fades and with it our commitment.
Why should this be?
Perhaps it is an effect of a number of the other factors, simplicity, less risk, less distractions. Easier to monitor progress.
But the most important reason is that it is often easier to get attached to a sports goal, after all it’s our own goal, not something that we have been told we should have by others.
5) Easier to Focus on Simple Action Steps
For most physical goals there is either no, or just a simple, hierarchy of actions needed to train or get fit for achieving the goal.
Using the running example, the basic actions are;
- Get good running shoes
- Eat correctly
- Prepare a training schedule of distance, speed and frequency
Cross training, upper body weight exercises are often added, but the steps are still very simple.
Business goals are often dependent on a hierarchy of actions that all have to be completed in the right sequence before the goal can be achieved.
Back to the example of our Network Marketer in the previous post. If he sets a goal to achieve a certain level in his organisation in a certain time period, he may need to take a number of actions before he can start working on achieving his goal.
He will need to find people to talk to, he might need to join clubs, associations or other groups to reach more people, he may need to advertise, take up new hobbies, volunteer for social or charitable activities. He may need additional training or self improvement. All different steps needed to be done as part of achieving the goal.
People achieve Network Marketing goals. The steps themselves are not overly complicated, but at the start, the process looks considerably less simple than preparing to run x miles in y hours.
6) Better support Network
When I announced that I was going to run my first 85 km Comrades Marathon, many of my friends and family told me I was crazy. But they did it in a nice way and still offered me support. My fellow runners at our club and from other clubs all offered advice and encouragement.
Compare this to the normal reaction when announcing a new business venture. All the warnings about the bad economy, how tough things are, how this or that relative or friend failed at something similar are given without any thought about how negative they all sound.
There is obviously competition between participants in team sports. In endurance sports like marathon running, really serious competition is only found amongst elite athletes in the top levels. I have tried desperately hard to finish ahead of other runners in some races, but equally I have slowed down to encourage struggling runners.
So the element of competition is more against ourselves, the hills, the weather than other competitors.
What I found throughout my years of serious running was a camaraderie and level of support quite different to what I have experienced in going after non sports goals.
Many fellow entrepreneurs will offer help, advice and support, but it is the support from friends and family that is most needed and often most lacking.
Does this resonate with you? I would love to hear your thoughts, add a comment or email me.
Wishing you success in all your endeavours.
p.s. Here is the link to Goals on Track again