In 1953 in Yale University only 3% of the final year business studies class had written a career plan. Twenty years later in 1973 a researcher checked with the class of '53 and found that the 3% with the written goals had achieved what they had set out to, and had accumulated more wealth than all of the other 97% together. The result was so startling that the researchers then looked at relationships, family and work and they discivered that the 3% reported higher levels of happiness than the rest, and were generally doing better in all other aspects of their lives.
Food for thought. But to what extent should you write down your goals. Most of us do a ToDo list everyday, so we are always trying to commit to a sequence of activities and details that help guide us towards our bigger goals. But to what extent we spell out what our goals are and write them down? Pyschologists believe that we usually without conscious intention. We behave in ways that we believe will benefit us, making decisions as we go along, in the unconscious hope that we will get there eventually. We fool ourselves with trite pearls of wisdom like, 'the right thing will come along', 'things happen for a reason', ' god has a plan for us all' and so on.
Many of us were not told that awareness of our own motivations would enable us to map out the lives we would like.
I don't think most of us can clarify our goals without the input of a neutral advisor. That's why career coaching should be at the very least, an annual check-up, as necessary as a dental checkup or car service. Career coaching encourages you to see your blindspots and clarifies your true desires so that you can be less hassled by everyday life and turn your attention to a few meaningful goals instead.
We all know talented people who drift. I'm not saying that they don't have plans, but I'm willing to put a bet on it.
One thing I do know is that all successful people I know and have asked 'how did you get so t lucky' have answered that they knew what they wanted and they went for it.
That's evidence enough for me to believe that their success is due to having clear goals.
There is a thin line between sucocess and failure. Having goals is the key differentator.