What's your 5-year goal?
Sorry. That was a trick question.
In our work as Corporate and Career Strategists, we earn a lot of our success by routinely surveying the landscape and staying at the top of our field in terms of emerging trends and best practices. We deliver "what's coming around the corner" insight to our clients in order to provide extraordinary value and best-in-class services.
What does that have to do with goals?
5-year goals are out; 1-year goals are in.
In the last decade, especially, technology (of all kinds) has increasingly facilitated rapid iterating in life and work. Faster access to information. Faster ways to connect with people. Faster means to develop skills.
So, by the time you get a year into a 5-year plan, chances are that your circumstances and opportunities will have changed so significantly that your 5-year goal will already need retooling. Long term thinking is critical, but firm 5-year goals no longer make sense.
Yeah, with such opportunity for quick iteration, it is critical to reduce noise and increase focus. And what a cruel joke that those skills take on more importance in a time when valueless distractions abound. All of this advancement in tech can be used for good, but it is also increasingly throwing people off their game, making them feel "less than" compared to others, and driving depression and anxiety within the global population.
Which brings us back to New York City and the glowing post we wrote about the buzz of passion in Manhattan.
You didn't really think we were going to let NYC off the hook that easy, did you?
While we're always swept away by the passion that permeates the city that never sleeps, we're also hyper-aware of the noise from the moment we land until the time we leave.
As on-the-ball but chill guys, the noise is generally our biggest roadblock to enjoying the Big Apple. We've come to make the time we spend there a reminder of the power of noise and the need to not let it be a deal-breaking distraction.
It's kind of like immersion therapy via lessons that, channeled properly, boost success in life and work.
Never look back.
Lesson: Everything moves at a diligent (loud!) clip in NYC. You need to know where you're going and keep moving forward. With modern-day transparency, we all get a front row seat into the life of pretty much anyone. It's so tempting to be thrown off by what this or that person is doing. The problem is that this keeps you from doing and, ultimately, puts you behind.
Wisdom: Rarely look side-to-side (only for quick "landscape checks") and never look back. When you're on purpose, it's much easier to not get caught up in the swirl of what others are doing.
Ask: What am I working toward?
Set your intention.
Lesson: At one point, we were stuck on a subway that was so crowded that I thought I was going to lose my mind. I forced myself to not use tech as a distraction, and I, instead, put my mind into a meditative state. It worked! The crush of people in close, closed proximity had no effect on my well-being. Ommmm.
Wisdom: Know what you want and need. In every situation.
Ask: What am I here for?
Lesson: In Manhattan, we're always fighting the temptation to be thrown off by: food choice paralysis (there are soooo many outstanding options), horn overload (have you heard the way people honk in that city), and shiny things (you've seen those photos of Times Square). And that's just three things; there are many more.
Wisdom: Uni-task = good. Multi-task = bad.
Ask: What do I need to do right now?
Notice the common theme among each of the asks. They all involve looking inward – not outward – for answers.
Even more so than in NVR 1.0, we ain't got time for noise. We have 1-year goals to hammer out.