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Why Pursuing Goals That Transcend Us - 6 Hints To Succeed

Written by: Albana Vrioni, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high, and we miss it, but that it is too low, and we reach it.” Michelangelo

A goal that transcends you is a goal aiming to realize something that seems out of reach, something that outlasts you, and makes a positive impact on those affected by it.

Such goals are complex and challenging as they seek to create something new in ways that are genuine and meaningful.

Why would we want to pursue goals that transcend us?

The pursuit of transcendent goals fulfils 3 distinct roles: personal mastery, professional fulfilment, social fulfilment.

Personal mastery - Aiming high exposes us to novelty, which activates neural pathways our cognitive functions in ways that regenerate our brains. Aiming low keeps us on what we know and are comfortable with, leading to reduction of cognitive functions and speeding brain atrophy.

People pursuing transcendent goals master better self-control and are often dotted by creative imagination and creative vision.

Professional fulfilment – when professional life is aligned or dedicated to the pursue of a transcendent goal, we function in our zone of excellence. Pursuing goals that transcend you mobilizes your positive neurochemistry into a generative state of highest performance. The production of feel-good neurochemicals and the activation of your brain’s motivation centre help you channel your energy and express your genius in ways that are productive and towards creative accomplishment.

Social fulfilment –anthropological studies indicate that civilisation is related to the quality of taking care of one another. Because of the nature of transcendent goals, their realisation creates positive impact for a larger community and the next generations - not only through the solution, the service, or the product, but also through the quality of relationships you establish with the people that support your pursuit.

How do people come to the idea of pursuing transcendent goals?

For some people it is a response to an inner call. Beneath and beyond everyday struggle and buzzing minds, at the inner core of every human being, resides an innate desire to experience aesthetic beauty, live with dignity, and contribute to something meaningful. As we start living more mindfully this innate desire becomes more prominent.

For others it is an educated choice in seeking ways for self-realization. Scientific backing and increased awareness on the personal, professional, and social fulfilment effects of pursuing transcendent goals create educated desire to explore its potential.

No one ever changed the game by playing safe. Therefore, when you set goals that reflect your desire to impact the world in a way that’s ten times greater than you are, you know that this is not egoistic. It is an expression of your courage to unfold and realize your potential.

How can we succeed in pursuing goals that transcend us?

Pursuing goals that transcend us requires a strong desire and a definite purpose, supported by strong willpower and creative imagination to carry the pursuit over the bumpy road of its realization.

To succeed such a pursuit, I suggest considering a handful of self-reflecting questions:

1. What do I find challenging in my work or life?

Seek the challenge. You have a challenge when you have a goal – the bigger the goal, the more compelling the challenges. Chose to pursue what you find most challenging. Game changers thrive on a challenge.

When you're facing a challenge - welcome it with curiosity and look at it as an opportunity to grow. Instead of reacting to it and presenting resistance, try to understand it from a different point of view. The point is not to change your mind or convince others to change theirs but to land in a generative space of new ideas through understanding, tolerance, and curiosity. Moreover, the point is to confront a challenge in ways that will benefit the vision you have about the future.

2. Who is (will be) benefiting from my service or the realization of your goal? In what areas/ways is the achievement of my goal creating progress, and for whom?

When you seek to create a breakthrough, it’s beneficial to understand in what ways the new situation will be better, and for whom. Setting a clear goal in terms of what interests and whose interests you want to impact will help you get your best allies.

Also, think about how my goal achievement may be disadvantageous and for whom. Although it is not always possible to satisfy everyone through the aim you pursue, awareness of its impact, positive and negative, is critical to success. To succeed, make sure that you are in the service of the people (or groups of people) who you want to inspire.

3. How can I explore my goal achievement?

Once you have a clear sense of purpose, and a big idea that you could be excited about, seek a community of people who can help you see the big picture and achieve what you cannot achieve alone. Do not spend time only with people that think and act like you. Like-minded people may not help you grow, as you are not challenged.

One common practice of the greatest leaders and most successful innovators is the creation and use of a Mastermind group – trusted people who offer specialized knowledge, challenge you to think out of the box, and contribute to the creation of something bigger than the sum of the parts. Mastermind groups help you access specialized knowledge needed to achieve your goal, expand your vision, and sustain your achievement.

4. How will the rewards of goal attainment be cherished by those who contributed to its achievement?

When the rewards of goal attainment are cherished by those who supported you, you have created a new generation of leaders – of people who will seek goals that transcend them.

Leading yourself in achieving a goal that transcends you, is almost always associated with leading others in achieving that same goal. At this point, you will want to clarify: What kind of rewards expectations is bringing people together in your mastermind group? What kind of leadership will you apply? Directive or participative? Centralized or distributed? Select what resonates with you, but make sure it resonates with your goal. Your goal is not you.

5. How sustainable and fit for the future is the way I’m achieving my goal?

This is eventually the point at which leaders are most challenged. In a world that is changing fast, how can one thrive or even survive in the shorter term in ways that benefit longer-term fitness? How can one succeed in an unfair or unbalanced game? How to reconcile conflicting values, and competing priorities?

Because everything is achieved through conversations, even in the age of artificial intelligence and Metaverse, the neurochemistry of conversations gives us the answer. To assure future fitness you need to create alliances that perform in the spirit of TRUST, valuing transparency, relationship, understanding, sharing, and testing assumptions. It’s the principal gateway to greatness.

6. How am I taking self-care while striving for a goal that transcends me?

Pursuing a transcending goal is not about sacrificing oneself to the benefit of the others. It is about fulfilling your dream by helping others fulfil theirs. And in doing so, there may be need for bravery, as not every situation yields for collective immediate and tangible win-win. To succeed you need to commit to self-care. Note that the richer you are inside, the more of it you can radiate outside; the stronger your inner resilience, the sounder your outer efforts; the more centred and connected you are inside, the more purposeful and harmonious your alliances outside.

Pursuing goals that transcend you is a quest for fulfilment. Without fulfilment success is void and the ultimate failure. Fulfilment, though, requires pursuing transcendent goals.

It’s a mindful choice to step into this quest.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info! Read more from Albana!


Albana Vrioni, Exexcutive Contributor Brainz Magazine Albania Vrioni coaches and advises business leaders worldwide on Generative Leadership and Entrepreneurship - supporting them re-imagine the future, see beyond what’s obvious, and reconcile conflicting truths and competing values. Having succeeded in critical transitions, Albana developed strategies on how to shift the mindset for creative achievement, boost resourcefulness, and manage one's energy to achieve what matters and thrive in changing the game. Her mission: A conscious leader in each game changer.



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