“Pursuing” Noble Goals

water_ripplesIn the Six Seconds EQ Model, the “capstone” is a competency we call “Pursue Noble Goals.” Members of the Six Seconds’ team were discussing this last week, and reflecting that especially in “tough times” it’s easy to feel stuck and have a sense that the work you really want to do is occluded by the “stuff you have to do.”When we say “pursue” Noble Goals, that could sound like, “I have to give up the day to day and totally focus on the truly significant.” Nice, but unlikely.

Pursue Noble Goals really means putting purpose into everyday action. If your purpose is supporting equity, how can you build more equity between the people in the elevator today? If your purpose is sustaining a vibrant earth, how can you change what you buy for lunch to be more sustainable? If your purpose is nurturing compassion, how can you think and feel as you wash the dishes so you end that experience more compassionate?

In other words:  Consider the alignment between WHAT you are doing each moment, each day — HOW your are doing that, and WHY?  Is your intention coming through both in the action and in the way that action is undertaken?

In promoting Satyagraha, nonviolent compassionate activism, Gandhi explained that you can not make peace through anger. Anger and violence make more anger and violence. Real peace only can be made through peaceful means. Sometimes we think the “end justifies the means,” but in this vision, the means IS the end and the end is made of the means. So when we talk about Pursuing Noble Goals, that’s the standard: Live it. It’s not something to work toward in the future, it’s a future to bring into the present. Everywhere, all the time.

About the author - Joshua Freedman

Joshua is one of the world’s preeminent experts on developing emotional intelligence to create positive change. With warmth and authenticity, he translates leading-edge science into practical, applicable terms that improve the quality of relationships to unlock enduring success. Joshua leads the world’s largest network of emotional intelligence practitioners and researchers.

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Comments for this article (2)

  • Debbie Havert says:


    Thanks so much for this post. I had a presentation today and I shared the Six Seconds Model with the ASTD group. We talked about many items, but the one part of the model which really made me “stand tall” was sharing my own noble goal with the group. I told them that the beauty of having a noble goal is that you need (and want) to live it every day. In fact, something does not feel right when you know you have done something that does not “ring true” for your commitment to your noble goal. It is the minute by minute, hour by hour, and day by day that is the power of living and pursuing a noble goal. I know that having one has been a life pattern I have welcomed and have tried to honor. In fact, I want to be held accountable for it.

  • nicely expressed Joshua,it is only in tough and wanting times that a mans spirit is tested,even if matter is feable!.Having the capstone as pursuing noble goals is a wonderful concept and aligning every moment to the capstone is the… business plan!
    when i was walking today the thought crossed naturally, whom am i?what iam doing? the answer came that ….just visualise what you want to do AND witness,actions follow naturally the whole universe aligns!just witness the actions and the response but focus on the goal,alignment will take place automatically.
    Then i thought of all goals that a man can pursue richness,academic excellence,power,sex….. you come to a point called the “Then what?point”.visualise your goal and feel you have reached it :come to the then what?point…Observe and feel if you are satisfied ?if you are then it is a goal worth pursuing.A Noble goal

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