achieving with excitement

Ages ago I remember reading something by Leo Babauta about he’d given up goals. Instead he was achieving things with excitement.

when your hair stands on end...YOU'RE EXCITED
when your hair stands on end...YOU'RE EXCITED

I’ve never really made goals. As in, “by 2013 I’ll be married with three kids”. Or, “in six months I will have the corner office”. In part because I’m never that certain about what I want to achieve. But also I’m not motivated that way. Goals seem so rigid and external and require different coloured textas and butcher’s paper and….

Sitting down to write “a list” of defined outcomes for down the track seems so dreary and admin-y.

Sitting down to reflect – or write – on what I want my life to feel like – that’s more like it!

Leo arrived at a similar point and said he gets things done by using excitement to lead him. Once excited, he takes action – he acts on the excitement immediately. Then he shares it (talks about it, tweets it). Then acts again. Keeps the excitement going. Acts a bit more and behold a “goal” is reached. Writing down goals, he says, can make you excited. But it’s only one way. And it’s not what gets you to the goal. Excitement does.

Let me tell you a story.

About six years ago I imagined up a scenario where I’m living in a place up high in trees overlooking the ocean. Hot, coastal, slightly tropical. I felt myself being there and felt myself working from there. Last week I took a look at where I’m living now, up here in the Byron hinterland in a little shed/cottage, and realised I’d landed myself in that scenario – trees, view, hot etc.


That’s how I set my directions. Without realising it. A feeling of excitement guides me to what it is that I actually want to achieve. The excitement attached to the scenario (that sits as a background idea in my head…often for years) ensures I keep heading in that direction.

We naturally respond to excitement. Excitement is our internal trigger to tell us YES. HEAD THERE!! YES, YOU’RE ON THE RIGHT TRACK! Excitement is the carrot we need to follow.

I feel my excitement as a tingle. I feel it as a colour image (when I imagine stuff that feels wrong, I see it in my mind’s eye in black and white).

Our challenge is to act on our excitement.

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