From Results to Accomplishment

"Please don't tell me about how to produce results. I'm an expert at it," Frank said at the beginning of our first LifeCoaching® meeting. His voice was an equal mixture of frustration and resignation. "I know all the steps and tricks. I know how to specify my goals, visualize the outcome, pick a date by when it will be done, go into action, get feedback, make corrections, and take action again until I've achieved the result."

He sighed. "Yep, I've done it all, and done it successfully, and where am I now? Feeling exhausted and burned out."

"All of your focus has been on results rather than on accomplishments? " I asked.

Frank paused. His eyes widened with quizzical interest.

"What's the difference?", he asked.

I've had this conversation in different forms with many clients. Knowing the difference between results and accomplishments is critical. While you can produce results without any sense of accomplishment, most accomplishment includes some solid and measurable results. Whether accomplishment is missing or present can make the difference between being an effective, high-producing, results machine that eventually breaks down, and being a person able to sustain and expand their creativity, productivity and effectiveness while being nurtured and fulfilled in the process.

A result is the attaining of a specific goal. Its focus is on doing. If you are unaccustomed to producing results, it is predictable at the beginning to put all your focus on methodologies for producing consistent, reliable results. If that is all you learn, however, you may soon find yourself asking the question, "Is that all there is?"

In a "results only" game, striving to "make it" becomes never ending. Even when successful, you are quickly back to striving to meet new demands from others or yourself for better results. For many people in corporations, another result---a higher statistic, a larger sales quota or a tighter production deadline ---no longer inspires or motivates them. Except for the momentary rush of success or the relief at achieving the goal, a sustained sense of satisfaction and fulfillment remains elusive.

Accomplishments are distinct from results. With an accomplishment, your energies, goals, and actions are channeled in the service of fulfilling who you are and your dreams. Its focus is on who you are being. When you experience accomplishment, who you are and your possibilities for the future expand. A key to the success of my clients is that they authentically answer the fundamental question that underlies all spiritual traditions: Who Am I? Then, they create the core principles that re-organize and prioritize their actions and results to resonate with their true nature.

Some powerful questions to ask when looking from accomplishment include: What am I building with that result? What will it provide? Is this an expression of who I am? Will this fulfill what I say my life is for?

When you produce results in the context of what you are committed to accomplishing, you don't burn out. You light up.

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Hal Isen & Associates, Inc.


Ashland, OR 97520