“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Howard Thurman

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

Pursue Noble Goals Definition: Connecting your daily choices with your overarching sense of purpose. 

Importance: Noble goals activate all the other competencies in the Six Seconds Model of EQ. When you are connected with your personal vision and mission, emotional intelligence has a powerful meaning and relevance.  Having a clear noble goal helps you focus on what is most important and access your full power and potential. When you realize that even your smallest actions help bring the future you want into the present, even the most mundane actions take on a sense of purpose and vibrancy. You make your legacy with every moment of every day.


A Noble Goal typically contains a verb (expressing how to pursue it) and a goal of what you want to add to the world. Examples might be:

Honoring our interconnectedness.

Supporting myself and others to live in truth.

Sparking awareness of the power of choice.

What's an example of finding and pursuing a Noble Goal?

Mission: Imagine your purpose is sustaining a vibrant earth for future generations. That’s a beautiful and important goal, but it doesn’t fit our criteria because it’s not something you can do in ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE. So, what’s your Noble Goal?

Ask Why: If that’s your mission… what is it that makes this so important to you? Perhaps, when you come down to it, you know that all life is connected, and equally valuable, and you feel responsible that future generations will not be betrayed by the present ones. You perceive that to honor that connection is at the core of your purpose.

Noble Goal: If that’s the case, then perhaps your Noble Goal is something like, “Honoring all our interconnections.”

Pursuit: If that were your Noble Goal you could pursue it in terms of environmental action like being careful which products you buy… and you could do it in all the areas of your life… for example, by helping a new person at work connect with the group… or listening to a child in a way that helps her feel connected… or even by respecting your own needs to build relationships that are truly reciprocal. Once you have the Noble Goal clear, you can work toward all your daily choices being infused with a sense of purpose. Every action brings the future we want into the present.

Pursuing noble goals helps you connect your what, your how, and your why. It ensures that your are living your life in a way that is consistent with the change you wish to see in the world.

The Components of a Noble Goal

There are 5 criteria that need to be met for a goal to qualify as a noble goal.

1. Not complete in your lifetime – It is enduring and inspiring, something beyond the daily struggle. This helps you maintain a long-term focus so you can avoid the confusion of short-term thinking.

2. Pointed outward – While you will benefit, the focus is on others. This helps you maintain an expansive vision.

3. Integrates different domains  – It encompasses all dimensions of your life; serving your noble goal in one domain (such as work) supports you in all others (such as family). 

4. Gets you out of bed – It motivates and inspires you at a deep level; this helps you to have the energy when the going gets tough.

5. No one made less – No one has to be “less than” or “wrong” for you to pursue your Noble Goal; this helps you stay out of ego and power struggle. 

Does your current noble goal meet these 5 criteria?


Emotional Intelligence Articles about Pursue Noble Goals

Attention Scattered? Feeling Overwhelmed? Harness Your True North. (12/24/2019) by Maria Jackson - We only have so much energy and attention to give. This article will help you align your focus and attention with your "True North"-- your purpose. ...
The Secret to a Long Life? A Meaningful Reason to Keep Living (10/8/2019) by Michael Miller - A recent study found that having a life purpose significantly decreased a person’s risk of dying, even more so than typical health risks like drinking, smoking or not exercising regularly. So what's your purpose? ...
Research Study: The Journey of Emotional Intelligence and Six Seconds’ Theory of Change (8/24/2019) by Six Seconds - Research: How do people start learning emotional intelligence… and what happens? A powerful story emerges about transformation to fuel authentic, purposeful connection. ...
A Look That Spoke A Thousand Words: A Tribute to The Power of Noble Goals and Changing Lives (6/3/2019) by Michael Miller - I saw a look on a man’s face the other day that sent shivers down my spine. It brought my lovely partner to tears. It told a story of love, admiration, loss and pain. And it got me asking myself: How can I inspire that look in other people’s eyes? ...
Illuminate: Where Do You Want to Go? (12/15/2018) by Maria Jackson - Take a moment to clarify your (emotional, professional, physical) destination + represent it in a fun way. ...
Best Generation for EQ? (11/15/2018) by Michael Miller - Newest research looks at EQ generational differences plus the strengths and weaknesses of each age. ...
Putting the SDGs Into Action With EQ (10/24/2018) by Joshua Freedman - If you could teach millions of people and raise their awareness & ability to advance the SDGs, what would you choose to teach? ...
Illuminate: Crafting Your Noble Goal (9/17/2018) by Maria Jackson - Three steps to tapping into your guiding purpose. Today's the day to create or refine your understanding of what fuels you + fuels the world. ...
Decision Making: 3 Practitioners’ Stories of Leveraging EQ Skills to Make Better Decisions (8/22/2018) by Michael Miller - Six Seconds’ State of the Heart report identifies the 3 components of emotional intelligence that predict good decision making. Here is the story of three EQ practitioners who have struggled, and succeeded, to cultivate each one. ...
The Purpose of Belonging – Nourishing the EQ Community (5/23/2018) by Joshua Freedman - We believe the world will be a better place when a billion people are practicing emotional intelligence. If you agree, here's your invitation to play! ...


Click here for more Pursue Noble Goals articles on our site


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