Stephen Shapiro, innovation consultant and author of the excellent book 24/7 Innovation, has been one of my mentors and supporters of InnovationTools during the last two years. During the last year and a half, Steve has been working on a book called Goal-Free Living, which he hopes to have published in 2006. Most recently, he has launched the Goal-Free Living weblog, which chronicles “stories, insights and thoughts on living a life without goals.”
You may recall that in 2003 Steve conducted a “Creative America” roadshow, in which he traveled the U.S. to capture the stories of ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things through creative living. This concept eventually morphed into Goal-Free Living, because Steve discovered that the people he interviewed tended to live for the moment, not for some future goal, and were driven by passion rather than goals.
As someone who has struggled all my life with the concept of clearly-defined incremental goals, I think Steve is definitely on to something valuable here. I think most innovative, creative people don’t enslave them to goals. They tend to follow their muse, and are successful because they immerse themselves in a rich river of information and opportunities in their field of interest. For more on this topic, please read my article River People vs. Goal People.