Goals and expectations | Seth’s Blog


[a note to a frustrated friend, just starting out on a long career]

There are three reasons that our goals might not be achieved. In order of palatability, they are:

Perhaps the goals are too lofty, too based on chance, unlikely for anyone to achieve, surrounded by barriers that are rooted in class or caste, or simply unrealistic.

If that’s the case, change expectations and/or pick different goals.

Or, perhaps the goals are useful, but we need more persistence, more time and some hard-earned lucky breaks along the way.

If so, be persistently patient.

Alas, if it’s not these two, the most likely reason is that we need to walk away from our expectations and our insistence that we’re already doing the work perfectly. It could be that we need to expend more effort than we hoped, develop new skills, find and embrace new strategies and develop a taste for the emotional labor that’s required to get from here to there.

Empathy, a cycle of skills improvement, developing new attitudes and showing up in service often accompanies the careers of people who get from here to there.

Ambition is insufficient.





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