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Goal Free Living

Author: Stephen Shapiro

Publisher: Wiley

ISBN: Melanie Smith

Summary:How to have the life you want now!

Do you strive to achieve?  Are you caught up in the notion that once you have attained your latest goal you will be happy?  Do you celebrate the achievement of a goal or is it simply crossed off the list and replaced by another?  If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, then ‘Goal Free Living’ could be for you.

This book and the goal-free philosophy by Stephen Shapiro, is the result of reflection, research and more than 150 probing interviews with people from all walks of life.  It was initially inspired by the author’s own experience of living a high octane, goal fuelled lifestyle, which left him feeling unfulfilled and miserable.

At this point you may be thinking that this publication advocates the total exclusion of goals from our lives thus leaving us to wander aimlessly with little thought to our future.  You would however be wrong.  It is about not allowing goals to control and stunt your life, blinding you to alternative possibilities.  It is also about being passionately driven in the moment.

Stephen’s goal-free philosophy is based on what he calls the ‘Eight Secrets’ and he outlines each of these in individual chapters as follows:

Secret 1 – Use a compass, not a map
Secret 2 – Trust that you are never lost
Secret 3 – Remember that opportunity knocks often, but sometimes softly
Secret 4 -  Want what you have
Secret 5 – Seek out adventure
Secret 6 – Become a people magnet
Secret 7 – Embrace your limits
Secret 8 – Remain detached

The book also describes how to use each of these secrets to your best advantage, offering as additional inspiration the story of one person’s transformation from goal obsession to goal freedom.  It also contains a quiz entitled ‘Are You a Goalaholic’ which many may balk at taking for fear of finding something that may alter their predetermined plan.
Stephen’s story is not dissimilar to that of many of us struggling to make the grade, caught up in society’s definition of success.  It makes an interesting read for those who dare to challenge their current beliefs and think outside the box.