When I ask most people what their quest is they stammer, who me?. Yeah, you. Do you have a quest? You do? Good. Just give me one goal in your quest for this year. When? NOW! Uh, I want to make more money this year. Okay, if I give you one euro, you have satisfied that goal. You just made more money.
When I ask successful people to tell me their quest and goals in it, they will say something like, ‘I will earn Euro 100.000 from my writing with another book deal by the end of the year’.
This goal is stated in the positive (I will), is very specific (Euro 100.000 from my writing) and includes a deadline (by the end of the year). Bravo! HAVING A SPECIFIC GOAL CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR PERSONAL AND BUSINESS QUEST, WITH A DEADLINE IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS.
You can make excuses or discount goal setting as being too rigid and linear for the creative person, or you can get with the program and finally start making some real progress toward achieving your dreams. Quite simply, you can get to where you are going until you know where that is.
Having specific, meaningful goals doesn’t mean having a rigid system that leaves no room to roam. It simply means that, right now, this is what you want. Don’t worry about limiting yourself. You can adjust as you go. It does mean that you are in control of your life, have thought about what the real issues are for you, and have a perspective on new capabilities that develop.
Bottom line: Unless you know exactly what your quest is in life, what want from your life and you can articulate it (on demand, in case we meet) you are just fooling around. You aren’t serious about success, and frankly, you will never achieve it.
Having a quest with goals empowers you. Having a clear story of what you want drowns out the negatives and attracts the positive things, ideas and people to help you reach them. Goals give you courage to go beyond which you think is possible. Setting goals creates focus and clarity, so you are not wasting your energy on dead end jobs.
What happens without a quest?
Many creative people have no idea who they are, what they want out of life, where they are going, or what their passion is. Afraid to limit their options their lives becomes a series of compromises and unplanned events. They are spinning out of control and feel powerless to stop it. They have zigzagged their way through life, trying this and that. Deep down they feel regret. They tried to grab at it all, and came up empty handed.
Lack of Direction.
If you don’t know what you want you can waste a lot of time and energy going in the wrong direction. In the meantime, your business and personal life an get way off course.
You wake up one day and realize your life has been a series of compromises, a series of unplanned events. As a result you are in een job you really don’t like or aren’t suited for, afraid to change.
Without a quest with goals, you can easily get caught in the current of life, swept away by an endless stream of details. You always seem to be paddling against the current in a battle between finding time to be creative and getting things done. Once you get off course, it can be very hard to find your way back.
Not having a mission a life, a quest, a passion, a purpose for your talents and creativity is he one thing most lacking in many lives. Without it, life can become dull, empty and uninspiring.
I have heard people describe their lives as if they were passengers in a car, watching life whiz by while looking out of the window. They feel powerless, and blame everyone and everything for their lack of success, time, happiness, finances, whatever. They blame the government, the economy, reviewers, traffic, foreign competition, and on and on. Until you take responsibility for your own success, happiness and time, you remain a victim.
When your values and your achievements don’t align, at best you end up with hollow victories. At worst, you become depressed, angry, or resentful. If you value integrity, you can’t afford to lie and cheat to get what you want. If you want to start a business, but you squander your start up capital, it might be time to look at your values again. Maybe you are just giving lip service to a value you thought you should have. Or maybe your self destructive behavior has deeper roots.
Do you go zigzagging through life, jumping at any opportunity that sounds interesting or fun? After years of doing this, you are likely to realize that you have nothing to show for the past decade. This will leave you unhappy, unfulfilled, unsuccessful, because you tried to live without quest and goals.
With a Quest
With a quest you get a bird’s eye view of your life. An overview. Think of being in a plane or balloon, soaring over the scenery, looking down. Everything seems so small, so clear. You get above the trivial details, above the self doubt. This kind of perspective allows you to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason in the right way.
When you set for a quest with clear goals and pick a course of action, unexpected things start to go your way. Unseen forces in the universe begin to say, ‘Yes!’. People and resources come into your life to help. It all starts with a clearly stated quest story and concrete goal, one that you understand and that you can communicate to others. This works even better if you have a real passion for your quest. People pick up on your passion, your commitment. They want to contribute, to be a part of your excitement, so they offer money, time, connections. That is synchronity.
Your mind works for you.
When you have a quest with a clear goal, your mind goes about searching for information and opportunities that can help. Have you ever bought a car and suddenly you see other cars like it. Why haven’t you noticed it before now? Your brain, to avoid overload, screens out information not essential to your survival and success. When you know what your quest is your mind works to incorporate your goals into what it lets into your consciousness. This can change your life very quickly.
You enjoy life more
Your quest allows you to really live. You can enjoy the now, and still look to the future. It is like being a kid again! People who are living their dreams and striving for meaningful goals wake up in the morning excited, full of anticipation. Don’t you want to live like that? You can’t wait to start the day, you are constantly stimulated, curious, eager to interact with others, passionate about what you are doing, and you are working toward real happiness. Your ability to have fun and enjoy life is tied into your quest and its goals. When you know what you want, what you value, progress in this makes you happy. It is easier to make decisions which reduce stress. The directionless life is not the happiest to look back on.
We all need something that moves us, that we enjoy doing, and that we are good at. We need to feel useful. We need to help others or belong to a cause larger than ourselves. We know we could help make this a better world, if only on a small scale.
In this world of rapid change people have a need to control their own fate. You have to be the storyteller of your own life and create your own legend.
Create Your Own Legend Outline
- What’s Right About Being Right-Brained?
- You Are The Storyteller of Your Own Life
- What is Your Quest?
- It’s Not Just a Job, It’s a Heroine’s Journey
- Selling Your Story
- Self Made
- Your Travel Companions
- Be Your Own Boss
- Right Brainers in Business
- The Lean Years
- Business Plans
- Help! I Need Somebody
- The Cheering Section
- Tell Your Story
- The Seven (Bad) Stories of Highly Ineffective Heroines
- The Power of Your Story
About Peter de Kuster
Peter de Kuster is the founder of The Heroine’s Journey & Hero’s Journey project, a storytelling firm which helps creative professionals to create careers and lives based on whatever story is most integral to their lives and careers (values, traits, skills and experiences). Peter’s approach combines in-depth storytelling and marketing expertise, and for over 20 years clients have found it effective with a wide range of creative business issues.
Peter is writer of the series The Heroine’s Journey and Hero’s Journey books, he has an MBA in Marketing, MBA in Financial Economics and graduated at university in Sociology and Communication Sciences