By Liz Jackson
This weekend, I went for a run and listened to an interview with Angela Duckworth on one of my favorite podcasts, Freakonomics. If you aren’t familiar with Angela Duckworth, she is a University of Pennsylvania psychologist who developed the concept of “grit” and the idea that a combination of passion and perseverance are key to a person’s success.
In the interview, Duckworth talked about the concept of “goals hierarchies,” which is the idea that we all have different types of goals we’re working towards at the same time. For example, one goal I might have for myself today would be to write a blog! But a more important goal might be something like, “To help others find engagement and purpose.”
On any given day, we all take care of a lot of tasks, and this can be a great step towards achieving our goals. But these tasks feel a lot more meaningful to us if they are connected to our larger, more aspirational goals–ones that are higher in the “Goal Hierarchy.”
Sometimes having the sense that you’re “spinning your wheels,” might be because you’re having a hard time connecting some of your smaller goals or tasks to your larger goals, or maybe you aren’t spending enough time thinking about your larger goals! Or, it could even be that right now you don’t have clear, big-picture goals.
These are all such great reasons to work with a career coach like my colleague Ryan, and I found myself thinking about his work while I listened to the podcast! Ryan has worked with hundreds of young people to help identify their purpose and find ways to engage meaningfully in their courses and activities and reach their aspirational goals. I hope you will set up a time to talk to him!