Before moving to the Bay Area, I rarely encountered the term “stretch goal.” Yet, in the wake of tales of Steve Job pushing his teams to extraordinary lengths, no matter what the human price, stretch goals seem to bounce around the Valley with reckless abandon.
Stretch goals are those that are not only ambitious, but seem impossible with current capabilities. Stretch goals can be great motivators for teams that have lost some steam, or need to reimagine their company. However, stretch goals for teams already pushing for ambitious goals, can debilitate morale and cause undue stress and pressure.
Such is the situation with a pair of marketing friends of mine. They know the stretch goal their client had set for the launch of a Kickstarter campaign was not only unrealistic, it was pure fantasy. Objectively, and strategically, they can see the best launch time is at the end of January, after the holidays, and after the industry’s preoccupation with the Consumer Electronics Show.
However, their client feels enormous pressure to launch in December. He wants to prove his capabilities to VCs and secure European matching funds before they runout on the 31st. However, if the campaign is launched at an inopportune time and deliverables rushed, they may not meet their Kickstarter goal anyway. In which case, the neither the Kickstarter money, nor the outside investment will materialize.
This CEO is between your classic rock and a hard place and I can sense the pressure is building. It’s often in these situations, that people feel an urge to act, rather than sit in the uncomfortable space of pressure. However, forcing a decision or situation, simply to relieve the pressure is not only unwise, it’s irresponsible and disrespectful to the larger You. Forcing action does not set yourself up for success. Instead, it layers on more problems and hardship onto an already pressurized situation.
Often when I feel pressure, I ask myself, what would the 90 year-old me say about this situation? Invariably, that wise old man says, “Julien, give it a chance. The right time is coming.”
The scarcity conditioning many of us are unwinding tempts us into believing the right time may never come. We feel fearful, so we push ourselves to act and get it over with. When we give in to that temptation, we are not honoring ourselves, or the world around us. In this way, waiting with patience for the right time, can be a form of self love.
Knowing the “right time” for the “right action” is not something that can be taught. Instead, it must be felt in the body. Right timing is a product of the material plane, and your body is the receiver of those signals. Whether it’s your gut, your intuition, a pull of your heart, or a series of unexplainable coincidences, your body will pick up the signals of right timing and transmit them to your consciousness. The key is to always be listening and waiting patiently for the green light and then trusting it enough to act on what feels true to you, no matter what other people might think. If you feel discouraged in hearing your body’s signals, meditation can be a great way to boost the frequency.
By more actively connecting your actions to what the energy of your world supports, you bring your body and mind more into alignment. It’s only when the body and mind are unified on a single, supported path, can energy flow in and amplify our actions.
In the coming week, practice “right decision making” on each choice you encounter, big and small. With each one, train yourself to ask: “Does this feel right in both my mind and body?” “Would my 90-year old self support this decision?” “Am I tempted to force this situation just to feel better?”
These questions and others you may come up with on your own, help you to take an objective step back from a situation and see it more clearly. With greater clarity, can comes a crisper consciousness.
“Indecision becomes decision with time.” ― Anonymous