Enhance Productivity and Efficiency with Stephen’s Innovation Insights

Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

Once printed, the text in a book never changes. However, the concepts continue to evolve. Therefore, from time to time, I will post my thoughts on how I would say things differently if I were to re-write the book today. Today’s points focus on the clarity of my message; thoughts that are sometimes lost on the reader. To help clarify the points, I am including links to other blog entries that show examples.

  • Being goal-free is very different than being goal-less. Goal-less is having no purpose or direction in life. Think of it as sitting on your butt eating bon-bons and watching Jerry Springer. This is NOT what it means to be goal-free. Being goal-free is having a sense of direction (not a specific destination), playing full out, and then “meandering with purpose.” Being goal-free does not mean being entirely free from goals. Rather it means being free from the burden of goals that grips so many people. It is about actively participating in life.
  • Although Goal-Free Living is about having the life you want, the real thrust of the book is success…with less effort. When you are consumed by your goals, you focus on the future rather than being present to what is around you. You become stressed. As a result, you don’t perform your best. All of my studies and examples show that people who “try harder” are often less successful in achieving their “goals.” Sales reps who try the “hard sale” are worse sales people (there are several examples in the book). Students who focus too much on grades get stressed and sub-optimize their test performance (and they miss bigger learning opportunities). Athletes who focus on the “numbers” (batting average, goals, the stop watch) often perform worse than those who are “in the moment”.
  • Goal-Free Living is not just about career. It is not about “doing what you love and the money will follow.” The goal-free concept applies to every aspect of life from dating to parenting, and vacations to blogging. By being focused on the present, enjoying what you are doing, and being open to new opportunities, success finds you…in all areas of life.

More “Points I Wish I Made Clearer” to come in future blog entries.


  1. Hi, Stephen.

    Just want you to know that the newsletter I got today is great timing. I’d experienced being goal-less and I’m glad you made that distinction.

    I had a related question when I read your book. I never thought of asking for clarification or knew how.

    So keep coming up with “Points I wish I Made Clearer”. Would you put all of that in another category for future reference?

    I’m on my way to being goal-free, somewhere in between being goal-aholic and goal-less.

    Keep on being a light for the world.

    Thanks and God bless.

    P.S. What does URI stands for?

  2. Alex, a URI is like a URL (actually, a URL is a kind of URI). That’s the short answer. Wikipedia and Answers.com have longer more technical answers. Hope that helps. – Reg

  3. Alex – I was so focused on answering the question, I later realized I may have overlooked the real question. The “TrackBack URI” that Stephen provides at the end of the posts is a nice thing that bloggers give their readers. So if you want to save or bookmark a specific post, you bookmark that URI. That way you don’t have to go to the main blog and then scroll around or search the archives to find the post you’re looking for. It’s a way to backtrack (TrackBack) to a specific discussion/post. OK, I hope that was even more helpful. If I overexplained, my apologies (old habit of an old technical writer ;-). – Reg

  4. Latonya McCall says:

    I agree with your viewpoints on having goals,howeveer;I feel that some people need to set goals just to remain in control of their lives.

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