When people think of setting goals, they automatically think they will arrive at the outcome.
They become excited and can't wait to arrive there. So they work hard and make up their mind, stay committed and focus on the results.
When you set a goal, you are setting an end, which is good. However, what happens is that because the end becomes the main thing you think about, you overemphasize it during the process. We focus on the end and not the means. The ends are found within the means, that is, the process results in the conclusion.
The whole reason people feel stressed and unfulfilled is because they focus on ends and not means. Ends cause you to constantly evaluate yourself during the whole process, it is measuring you of whether you are good or not. If your measurements say you are doing good, you feel good, when your measurements say you are not doing well, you feel bad and unsuccessful.
You can set an end but there are many ways to get there. This is where strategy and technique come in. When you focus on means, you focus on strategy. You experiment on ways and look for the feedback as a great thing, positive or negative. This is opposed to taking one shot at something and thinking you will be wildly successful at something you’ve never tried before. It makes a good story, but it is unlikely.
There is another system that allows you to focus on means rather than ends. It is a system that has been used since ancient times in China. It is called Gongs. Gongs literally means practice in Chinese.
Goals = Ends
Gongs = Means
Gongs allow you to set an end and then focus on the means during the whole process. It properly emphasizes where your mental energy should be placed. The result is that you don't fear failure, you feel rewarded by the process, even on "bad days". If you "quit", it is because you didn't follow through on that day. So it naturally emphasizes staying committed and creates a natural kind of motivation that is much stronger than anything else that you've tried.
Gongs favors direct action to achieve the goal and rejects compromise with a process that creates maximum motivation.
What a Gong does it is compounds several aspects of motivation into a single sentence. In a sense, you are multiplying several core concepts of motivation into a single focus, so your commitment is not only stronger but longer lasting and more rewarding.
It is 4X the motivation of what goals create.
Lets break it down, a goal's motivation is solely derived on how exciting the outcome is. But it doesn't say anything about how motivated you will be for the actions or accounting for setbacks, frustrations and the awkwardness of trying something new.
A gong has 4 aspects of motivation built into the single sentence.
Imagination x Desire x Simplicity x Time x Mastery
A gong is written by saying - "Can I get (result) by doing (action) for (time)?"
The end result of using a Gong to accomplish what you want is that you feel a lot more rewarded during the process and each day feels like a success. The Chinese word for success comes from "successful practice" (cheng gong). Each practice is not only a success, but it also leads to your overall success.