Are We There Yet?


No statement can exasperate a traveling parent like a cacophony of whiny “Are we there yets?” continuously barraged over backseats by bored child-like passengers.

Everyone has agreed on the trip’s destination goal. Most travelers have at least some estimate of travel time and an estimated time of arrival, assuming all goes as planned. So, why is it often difficult to simply sit back and enjoy the ride? I have come to believe “getthereitis” is caused by a lack of measurable waypoints to mark the passing progress towards a goal.

As a pilot, we learn to fly by finding identifiable landmarks on the ground and we calculate how long it will take us to fly from waypoint to waypoint. If we are ahead of schedule we have more favorable winds, if we are behind, then the winds are slowing our progress and if we can’ t find the waypoint, we are lost. The pilot’s goal is to safely arrive at the correct airfield before the fuel runs out.

I primarily coach sales executives for my chosen profession. Sales organizations always have a revenue growth goal or sales budget which they use to track performance. Most often it is based on a monthly, quarterly and yearly calander. They often benchmark their progress against last year’s sales as well. The challenge for these financial mountain climbers is they often develop a pass/fail attitude which is similar to getthereitis. Sales managers often check the sales figures and whine, “are we there yet?” Meaning, have we achieved our sales goals yet? The problem is they have spaced out their financial waypoints too far and do not recognize their progress or lack there of, often enough. Every moment they are not at their sales goal, they feel like they are failing because they are not there yet. This anxiety can cause a hyper focus which can become counter-productive. Are we there yet? No. Then we must push harder. Sales getthereitis can set in even when performance is actually right on schedule. It’s like saying, Disney is still 300 miles away, let’s drive faster!

Imagine if your goal is to lose 25 pounds by Summer. A reasonable strategy would be to calculate a weekly pounds to lose goal and then track your daily weight. You can celebrate each ounce you lose and correct quickly for any plateau or minor gain. Most importantly, you can track your progress and see if you are on schedule to Bikiniville. This is a much more encouraging and effective strategy than weighing in around the first day do Summer to judge if you were successful or a failure. Tracking small wins and celebrating each success while correcting each minor setback is a proven success strategy.

Asking “are we making progress and are we on schedule?” are more effective questions than “are we there yet?” I hope my kids will read this post before our next vacation.

Do you our your team suffer from getthereitis? Maybe setting some milestones and celebrating each bit of progress can make your life’s journey much more enjoyable.

Growth Goal


“Growth is the only sure evidence of life.” -John Henry Newman

In business and in coaching we often speak of establishing SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound). Checking off SMART goals can create a mental trophy case of accomplishments and achievements. The practice may also have a dark side of accomplishment addiction and anxiety.

If you have a high need for achievements, then you need to read “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol S. Dweck and “Flying Without A Net: Turn Fear of Change Into Fuel for Success” by Thomas J. DeLong.

Achievement addiction can create enormous drive and motivation to achieve great accomplishments. It can also mask an extremely fragile ego or sense of self which requires constant protection from the harsh reality of needing to accept responsibility to change. The need for achievement can force a person into only pursing accomplishments which are safely within one’s strengths and area of expertise. We tend to repeat variations of past successes instead of risking feeling like a beginner and needing to practice and learn new strategies and techniques to blaze new trails. We would rather not try than risk failure or feeling incompetent. We become a mere caretaker of the fixed monument of our past success. We live a life of repeat, rehash and face-saving self-preservation. We stop growing and risk stagnation and obsolescence.

What if we make our SMART goal for life growth? Can one redefine accomplishment to mean not what one has done, but by measuring how much one has grown? Can getting better at being human be as satisfying as getting successfully done? A growth goal will not ask what have you achieved? Rather the key question will be what have you learned? Do you want to get done with life or get better?

Who could you become if you focused your efforts on growing up?

Run Your Race


Horse Racing

Horse Racing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why has a Clydesdale never won the Kentucky Derby?

A Clydesdale is an amazingly beautiful, strong, large and powerful steed, but it was built to pull and not for speed. A Thoroughbred is born to run but would not be the best teammate to pull a beer wagon.

When one fights one’s natural motivation in a vain attempt to win the purse, one’s needs will outlast one’s willpower. When life is a drag, maybe you are pulling the wrong wagon? When someone pursues a career based on anything but one’s hard-wired needs, desires and personal strengths, one is horsing around like a Clydesdale seeking to win the Triple Crown. We chronically deny our natural needs at great risk to our well-being.

Do what you love. Passionately pursue your dreams. Develop and use your natural strengths. Minimize the impact of your natural weaknesses by managing around them. Know what you need to feel genuine satisfaction and develop healthy habits which consistently satisfy your needs.

If you do those things, you will be running your own race and are bound to win!

If you don’t really know what you need to feel satisfied, then complete a Reiss Motivation Profile. Send me an e-mail at andy@lifematchesbook to schedule a personal consultation and you can learn which of the sixteen human needs are most important to your sense of satisfaction. To learn more about living your strengths, buy a copy of my book, “Life Matches: Fire Up Your Life!” available from Amazon.com. Visit my site to download free exercises from my book at http://www.lifematchesbook.com.

Live the life you were uniquely born to live. When you do, you’ll be living Fired Up!

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