Your Noble Goal in 2017 and Beyond

by Beth Offenbacker, PhD, Certified Six Seconds Practitioner

Are you thinking about your goals for the coming year too? January is also a valuable time to think about how our goals or intentions connect with our larger purpose, or our “why” – also known as our Noble Goal.

Anchoring our goals and our Noble Goal together is important because it keeps propelling us forward. In fact, Josh Freedman of Six Seconds describes our Noble Goal in a very practical way, as something we strive to live every day.

Five Guidelines for Creating Your Noble Goal

Six Seconds offers the following guidelines that can help you in creating your Noble Goal:

  1. Something that has impact beyond your lifetime
  2. The focus is outward
  3. It integrates all domains of life
  4. It gets you out of bed in the morning
  5. No one is made less

Identifying what that Noble Goal is — and actually putting it into words — can seem daunting. The good news is, when we connect with the core values in our lives that inspire us and lift us up, identifying our Noble Goal can become much easier.

Be Inspired by, Not Worried by, Other’s Noble Goals

In my own case, at first it was easy to become hung up on the Noble Goals that other people have. I can remember being in the EQ for Practitioners course and being inspired by the examples that were shared —

To co-create a context for humanity

To inspire others to be more

To support myself and others to be human beings

But how could I come up with something that worked for me?

My own Noble Goal emerged after a lot of journaling and reflecting, and many revisions: To be a positive catalyst for the awesomeness of human potential.

This rings true for me after several months of reflection, and it’s always possible it could change in the future as I continue to grow as a person.

Putting it into Practice

My work supporting business and nonprofit leaders in developing their EQ has been an easy way for me to make my Noble Goal actionable. Although I identify myself as a coach, I’m really a private teacher for managers and directors who want to create stronger, more successful communities. In coaching sessions and workshops, it’s so satisfying for me to work with people to develop the skills they need to connect with others in ways that move the dial and create meaningful, positive change.

A second part of taking action on my Noble Goal is that I’m also committed to teaching what EQ is and how people can use it to achieve their business (and life) goals through my podcast, my blog, and talks that I give periodically.

The more I do this work, the more I hear from people how hungry they are to be their best selves in every part of their lives. In all these interactions, I love creating those “lightbulb” moments with people – opportunities for helping people realize their EQ strengths and how they can grow them.

For example, I was working with a client I’ll call Sara. Sara is a manager with a direct personality and often it was rubbing people the wrong way in her organization. She was committed to learning new ways to communicate more effectively with others in her office and in general. We talked about her EQ report and how the findings reflected her day-to-day work and the challenges she was facing. It became clear through our discussions that by navigating her emotions, engaging intrinsic motivation, and applying consequential thinking, she could work through how to have conversations more effectively with others – Sara’s lightbulb moment.

We also covered several strategies for growing her EQ skills in key areas and overall. As a result, Sara was able to see how her EQ skills are a resource for her and she began taking steps to communicate more effectively with others in her life. My work with Sara is one good example of putting my Noble Goal in action.

Integrating Your Noble Goal into all Aspects of Life

Living my Noble Goal also extends to my personal life. I’m a teacher in my faith community and while I don’t talk about EQ in the classroom, I do my best to model the Six Seconds Three Pursuits (Know-Choose-Give) for my students.

I bring my EQ work into discussions with family and friends when I feel it will help them. I also have a bracelet that I wear each day that’s engraved with Know-Choose-Give on the back, as a reminder at any time of these important guiding principles as I go throughout the day – with “Give” representing my Noble Goal (as well as the value of increased empathy).

Personally, one source of wonderful inspiration for me in considering my Noble Goal and carrying it forward has been the website The Daily Good ( and the stories they share. It may also be useful to find a personal touchstone or touchstones that allow you to stay connected to the vision that pulls you forward in life.

A New Year, a New Goal? Five Questions to Help You Focus

In the spirit of living forward into our best selves, this year and beyond, here are few questions for starting to craft your own Noble Goal:

  • What inspires you?
  • What legacy do you want to leave?
  • Choose six words that describe the aspects of life that you value the most.
  • How would you want someone to sum up what your life was about?
  • What positive impact in the world do you care most passionately about making, even on a small level?

Beth Offenbacker, PhD, is a Certified Six Seconds Practitioner and an Emotional Intelligence Coach with Waterford, Inc. Her True North blog with articles and resources about emotional intelligence in action is at

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