Home » My Thoughts » Week 18 – How to Quit Moving Your Goal Posts

Week 18 – How to Quit Moving Your Goal Posts

“The fact that there’s one weird dot ‘way off the chart is no problem. I can just delete that dot. I can delete it because it’s clearly a measurement error. I know it’s a measurement error because it’s messing up my data.” – Shawn Achor

On this week’s webcast, we watched this amazing TED talk.

Moving the goal posts. We all do it at times — some more than others.

We get good grades, and push for better ones.
We get into a good school, and want to be in a better one.
We get a good job, and strive to get a better one.
We meet our sales target, and push for a higher one.

We think, “WHEN I reach this goal, THEN I’ll be happy.”

There’s nothing wrong with improving on our goals. The problem comes when we believe we have to be successful first, and THEN we’ll be happy. In other words, every time your brain has a success, it’s told that’s not good enough — you have to have more in order to be happy.

The truth is, the brain works in the opposite order. A POSITIVE brain is better at everything.

Shawn calls this the Happiness Advantage. When you choose to be happy, THEN you will have the better job, you’ll be better at keeping it, you’ll have superior productivity, and be more resilient. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise — everything is better. Not only are you happier, but it turns on all the learning centres in your brain, allowing you to adapt to your world in a different way.

“Small changes ripple outward.”

Small changes Shawn recommends, to will create lasting positive change:

3 Gratitudes
Writing down three new things each day that you’re thankful for causes your brain to start retaining a pattern of scanning the world, not for the negative, but for the positive first.

Writing about one positive thing that happened over the last 24 hours allows your brain to relive it.

Even a few minutes a day teaches your brain that your behaviour matters.

It allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once, and allows your brain to focus on the task at hand.

Acts of Kindness – Random or Conscious
This can be something as simple as opening up your inbox and sending one positive email, praising or thanking someone in your social support network.

These are all things I’ve learned to do on a daily basis, in the Master Key course. As I do them, I can see first how they change ME, and how they ripple outward to the lives of others in my circle of influence — and beyond.


13 thoughts on “Week 18 – How to Quit Moving Your Goal Posts

  1. Willena,
    It is amazing how simple it can be to create success. It begins one day at a time, creating “happy” habits. I like the simple idea of sending one positive email. It always makes me feel so good to say something uplifting to somebody else. And in the process of writing and sending that note, especially with a cute emoticom or humorous thought, I make myself smile and that gives me more energy for whatever I am doing next.
    Dr. Erica

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Willena, I love what you have written because the trap you speak of is dangerous and EASY to fall into… When this happens then I can x, y, or z…. in the meantime, life pasess us by and we don’t even notice. Good tips on retraining our brains to stay present and appreciate what we have in the moment. And thanks for sharing the TED talk as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Willena,

    I can say that I never had the mindset of “when I reach this goal, I will be happy.” Thank goodness! I do believe it starts with gratefulness. Those little things within our mindset that are part of us. I can turn on the water faucet and thank God I have running water because many on this planet do not.

    I can do a little something special for a person and it makes their day. This makes me happy.

    Once we make these little things part of our lives, we live in a state of happiness.

    Great video BTW.


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great living in gratitude is the only way to stay positive. If one understands and really feel grateful for what they have now. Then, the rest will be so much easier. If you focus on giving in times that promise you. Then, you mind will be matched with the overwhelming heart of yours.

    I have found that each morning sharing my appreciation with just one person. The first one that came to my thoughts after morning prayer. That person is going to receive a real postcard with my words of appreciation. Sometimes, I even attach a gift. That is done every single day of my life. I have notices a huge change in my life and thoughts. It has made be so eager to express natural appreciation every chance I get.

    My whole mind and body has healed. This is a choice I made and many will find it difficult to feel and believe. What they have now is more than enough. Having every other thought able to help others. Living in an attitude of giving and appreciation. No matter what life throws my way. Each daily challenge is something now. I am eager to walk through smiling.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Willena. What an enjoyable post to read first thing today. It took me many years to stop saying ‘I’ll be happy when …” I still have goals, but I am happy as I am striving for them. One of my favorite sayings is, “Goals are stars to reach for, not sticks to beat yourself with.” We just have to remember that life is a journey, and the only destination is death, so we might as well enjoy it. Thanks for your words.

    All the best,


  6. Hi Willena,

    WOW! This is a really inspiring article! I have learned over the years that gratitude, thanksgiving and humility take take you places that pride can never take you!!!

    Don’t I want to be better than I am today? Yes.
    Am I striving to be the best I can? Yes

    Does that mean I don’t have to be grateful for where I’m at and enjoy the little things and the moments that make each day awesome in the big picture? Of course not.

    I loved the message!

    Thank you for sharing it and I hope you have an amazing weekend!

    ~ Don Purdum


  7. Hi Wilena. We move goal posts all the time and thats ok. What is not OK is giving up or feeling defeated if we don’t hit our exact targets when we set goals. Its ok to fail., It’s not OK to not try and persist.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s