Project Passion: Inner Goals Over Outer Goals

Goal Setting
Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Inner Goals

One of the reasons that we fail to complete our projects is that we focus on inner goals and not outer goals. Have you ever considered that you might be working on the wrong goal? And, I don’t mean writing a book versus getting a new job.

Heidi Grant Halvorson is a social psychologist who focuses on motivation and communication. From her research, she suggests that we all have a default mode for getting things done. Sometimes this works for us, and sometimes it doesn’t.

One of the key ideas that we use in Project Passion is the difference between external goals and inner goals – as derived from Heidi’s book Success. It is also discussed in Daniel Pink’s best selling book Drive. He talks about the difference between external or extrinsic motivation and internal or intrinsic motivation.

We rapped both of these books over at Book Rapper.

Inner Goals and Outer Goals

An external goal is what most of us pursue when we want a better job, a new car or to write a book. These are important and often they are not enough. Pink and Halvorson suggest that our focus on external goals is limited. They help us get so far. However, an inner goal will likely take us further.

Are you failing because you pursue the wrong types of goals?

Ideas Architect Podcast

Geoff McDonald and the Ideas Architect PodcastIn Episode 98 of the Ideas Architect Podcast, we have the sixth chapter and fifth of the seven rules from my book Done: Why We Fail to Finish Our Projects and What to Do About It. Some of the things you will learn from this episode include:

  • Why I loved School
  • Three Levels of Motivation
  • The Passion Trap
  • Why Smart Goals are Dumb
  • The Myth of Talent
  • Why Change Management Fails
  • Four Categories of Inner Goals
  • 20 Examples of Inner Goals

Podcast Show Notes

Project Passion Book Introduction

Project Passion Introduction Part 2

3 Project Passion #3 How not to Plan Your Project

Business Coaching: Don’t Fix Problems

Seven Rules of Project Passion

Business Strategy Rules Rule


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