Performance Management

Abandon Smart Objectives if you Want to Peruse a Purpose with a Soul!

Working towards an objective is essential in every organisation nowadays. We learn that goals should be SMART and then stretchable every year after you achieve the set targets. I can list tens of high-performance work systems (HPWS) anchored towards set challenging and enlarged goals. You cannot peruse a career without performance objectives. You cannot enrol in leadership development programs without a personal development plan; you cannot lose weight without measuring your metrics every day, so you work it out towards what you want to achieve.

One can argue that every objective starts with a vision, mission, and passion that keeps you going. But sometimes, people become obsessed with what they do nowadays since it is highly attached to monetary rewards. And this is precisely when you might lose your soul!

I came across gurus, researchers, professional athletes, gamers, YouTubers, artists, marvellous leaders, and others who spend overstressed hours but do not have the time to enjoy life’s momentum. They simply work 24/7 towards a purpose, but you can see them rather detached. Joy comes from inviting or creating a masterpiece of work. But where is it if you repeat your work almost every day for a couple of years in a raw? Although audiences might see it once, but players know that they have to repeat it on theatres, shows, charades and lectures almost in every event they attend. The same slides, the same notes, the same moves, the same standards, and the same ambience should be there. If I want to spot a light on the academic setting as an example, then I could claim that professors come up with creative knowledge, but they keep repeating the same unless they do another research which will take them another year to finish. That if it is accepted by the academic journals’ authoritarians league which is completely insufferable nowadays.

Suppose you are good at what you are doing and persisting in being creative. In that case, you might reach the “state of flow” according to positive psychology. This is where you live in the moment of the present activity and time seems to fall away even if you are tired, but you barely notice. This is rewarding to many, but others argue that this same experience will detach you from reality, society, family, friends, and the colourful days we are blessed to live.

I am not trying to generalise, but have seen many examples “including me”, with one exception: they achieve nothing so far in their career! On the contrary, they still breathlessly running to create, invent, and gain a state of flow. I am afraid though I am becoming without a soul.

Reflective  thought from Pixar Movie: Soul



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