Life Lessons

BHAG – Running Away or Achieving Big Harry Audacious Goals

In the November blog I had urged my readers to take actions to create Part 3 but in December blog I talked about slowing down on actions and doing Time Pass. So many readers wrote to me that there was a dichotomy in the last two months blogs and my response was that it was done on purpose as I wanted to create questions, thoughts, reflections in your minds. The idea was to first ask you to take actions and then while taking actions include the action of “Time Pass”.
As the year 2014 started you would have seen emails or had conversations on setting goals, making resolutions and starting new habits. I would like you to consider few thoughts on new year resolutions and the basis on which the new year goals can be set.
Let me begin by sharing the famous dialogue by Sahir and Samad from “Dhoom 3” movie that I watched during a recent Time Pass which I thought is very inspiring on achieving goals. It says “Bande Hain Hum Uske, Hum Pe Kiska Zor, Ummedon Ke Suraj Nikle Charon Aur, Irade Hain Fauladi, Himati Har Kadam, Apne Haathon Kismat Likhne Aaj Chale Hain Hum.” For my non Hindi readers let me attempt to translate this dialogue where they say that there is nothing that can stop us from achieving our goals as we are determined to write our own destiny and we see hope all around.
So with the backdrop of this inspiring dialogue let me share few thoughts on setting goals for 2014 and beyond.
First thought is using BHAG as an inspiration. Bhag in hindi means running away but I want you to consider BHAG (Big Hairy Audicious Goals) that Jim Collins has talked about in his beautiful book “Built to Last”. While Jim had talked about this in the context of corporate setting but I think it can be applied in our personal lives as well. Many of us while setting goals have the fear that if we set Big Hairy Audacious Goals we may not achieve them and so we either avoid or procrastinate. I think there is a positive side to even not achieving them as Einstein said that when he failed 10000 times he learnt 10000 ways of how something will not work and Randy Pausch in his inspiring book “Last Lecture” said that “Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted”. So do take a look at what you have set for yourself and don’t shy away from making it BHAG.
Second thought is while setting BHAG make sure that your goals helps strengthens your relationship with people around you on personal and professional front. What I mean by that is your goals should not be self centered but it should encompass development and achievements of people in your circuit. Dr. Stephen Covey has time and again talked about “Abundance Mentality” where he says that when your goals are developing and enriching people around you, you don’t have to think about enriching yourself as just being in that state will enrich you.
Third thought is that your BHAG should be all rounded and not one sided which means you should pay equal attention to your health while you want to make wealth. History has many stories of people loosing health to make money and then loosing money to gain back health. Well rounded also means having a spiritual dimension in BHAG so including regular meditation in your goal is one of the ways. I have been myself practicing the sahajayoga school of meditation for last two decades and for last couple of years I also go to many corporates, educational institutions and teach mediation to senior executives, faculties over weekends (one of the items of my BHAG) and most of them say that they thought mediation is something that they will when they retire to which I say, “you may not be there to retire if you don’t start taking care of your health now”.
Fourth thought is that your BHAG should include something for the society at large and the reason I say that is if you read or hear almost all the successful people who have done incredible things for our society say that they should have started it in their early part of their lives. If you listen to Azim Premji’s speech on receiving the Economic Times Lifetime Achievement award he says that the only regret he has about philanthropy is that he started late. Working at Wipro for more than a decade I have always taken inspiration from Azim Premji and for couple of years I have been working on providing voluntary trainings to youth so that they become job ready over weekends. Every Sunday 3:00 to 6:00 PM is the time I have dedicated for supporting youth.
Fifth thought is that your BHAG should include involvement of your near and dear one’s and again I would like to share what Azim Premji said in the same speech that he would not have been successful if he had not involved his spouse. So do discuss your BHAG with your spouse and make them part of it.
Hope the above thoughts will help you in setting your Big Harry Audicious Goals for 2014 and beyond. It will be my pleasure to know your BHAGs and let me know if I can be of any help to you. Sunday afternoons are always available for each one of you and it not just for the Youth because I think age is just a number and each one of you are Youth for me as it is never late to set goals in your lives (Gandhiji besides the BHAG goal of giving us freedom also set a goal at the age of 70 to learn Bengali).

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