May 20

Goals from Beliefs


Noble Goals That Inspire

This series on emotional intelligence competencies and skills concludes with the 8th competency, Noble Goals. Before I get into this competency, let me answer a question I have received from people.

Why the Six Seconds model of emotional intelligence instead of something else? The answer to that is simple. When I say "simple" that is actually the answer. Ask yourself this it easier to learn, understand, and practice 8 new skills, or would you prefer something that has 20-30 different elements to learn and try to practice? Most people would say 8 is easier. When you add to this that these 8 competencies/skills are highly actionable (meaning they directly impact outcomes and are relatively easy to implement), then you have a skill set that is easy to learn, understand, and develop to achieve better outcomes in both life and work.

The concept of Noble Goals is a vital component of emotional intelligence, as defined by the Six Seconds Model of Emotional Intelligence. This model, which focuses on building constructive emotional and social functioning, identifies Noble Goals as the practice of connecting daily choices with an overarching sense of purpose. Noble Goals are not just about setting and achieving objectives but involve pursuing aims that enhance the well-being of others and align with personal values.
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Unlike most stories I will share, this true story is not one of success. It does highlight the critical importance of Noble Goals in a person's life.

A few years ago, I was working with an organization that I had helped with a major culture change. Through that work, a new senior leader was brought on board to run the operations. For a few years, everything continued to improve. Then I started to notice the first signs of burn out in this leader. He was struggling to find the energy and focus to accomplish his responsibilities effectively. I immediately recommended he seek a mental health professional to help him. He responded it was no big deal, he could handle it, he just had to push through. I supported him the best I could but continued to insist he seek a mental health professional. He never did.

He finally told me he no longer wanted to work with me. This is when the downward spiral accelerated. I will not go into all of the details, but the reality is that he ended up losing his job, his family, and his health. Burn out is a very serious issue. The Microsoft Workplace Study that was recently published states that 53% of leader/managers are currently in burn out.

Looking back on this situation, one thing became clear. The Noble Goals that this person had that originated in his beliefs, values, and sense of purpose, were eroded by decisions he made that led him down a destructive path. His choices shifted away from his lifelong Noble Goals to more immediate desires that had hugely negative consequences.

The purpose behind me sharing this story is to bring to light the critical importance of being proactive in developing and practicing these emotional intelligence skills. These are NOT "warm and fuzzy" things that have little impact. A lack of these skills can have gravely serious consequences in a person's life. But the enhancement of these skills can open pathways of success and satisfaction for a lifetime.

Definition of Noble Goals

Noble Goals refer to a deep-seated aspiration to make a difference in the world, guided by principles and values that transcend personal gain. This competency is about making life choices that are consistent with one’s ideal self. In daily life, Noble Goals may manifest as choosing a career that helps people, engaging in volunteer work, or consistently making decisions that reflect a commitment to personal and ethical values.

Consequences of Low Noble Goals

Individuals with low scores in Noble Goals might experience several negative outcomes:

  • Lack of fulfillment in personal and professional life.
  • Greater susceptibility to burnout, as work and activities might seem less meaningful.
  • A sense of disconnection from others, leading to less effective personal and professional relationships.
  •  Difficulty in maintaining motivation during challenging times, as there is no larger "why" to drive persistence.

Identifying Low Noble Goals

Signs of low Noble Goals might include:

  • Feeling that work or daily activities are just "going through the motions" without a deeper purpose.
  • Rarely considering how personal actions affect the broader community or environment.
  • A lack of enthusiasm or vision for the future that involves contributing to the greater good.
  •  Frequent focus on immediate or material rewards rather than long-term fulfillment.

Benefits of Developing Noble Goals

Cultivating Noble Goals can lead to significant benefits:

  • Increased Life Satisfaction: Aligning daily actions with deeper values can lead to greater fulfillment and happiness.
  • Resilience: People with strong Noble Goals often find it easier to navigate setbacks and challenges, as they can focus on their overarching purposes.
  • Enhanced Leadership: Leaders who operate from a framework of Noble Goals inspire trust and respect, fostering a positive organizational culture.
  • Social Contribution: By pursuing goals that aim to benefit others, individuals contribute positively to their communities and society at large.

Strategies for Developing Noble Goals

Developing this competency involves introspection and commitment:

  • Reflect on Personal Values: Spend time identifying what truly matters to you, what principles guide your life, and what legacy you wish to leave.
  • Set Goals Aligned with Values: Once clear on your values, set specific, measurable goals that reflect these values.
  • Seek Inspiration: Learn from the lives of individuals who have made a significant impact in areas you care about.
  • Regular Reflection: Regularly reflect on your actions and decisions to ensure they are aligned with your Noble Goals.
  •  Community Engagement: Engage with community projects or groups that reflect your values. This not only reinforces your goals but also connects you with like-minded individuals.

Ensuring Growth in Noble Goals

To ensure the development and maintenance of Noble Goals, it’s important to:

  • Regularly assess and realign your daily activities and long-term plans with your Noble Goals.
  • Maintain a journal to document thoughts, progress, and reflections on your journey toward your Noble Goals.
  •  Engage in continuous learning and self-improvement activities that enhance your ability to contribute meaningfully to your chosen causes.

Noble Goals are a fundamental aspect of emotional intelligence that propel individuals towards fulfilling and meaningful lives. By aligning one's daily actions with a purpose that transcends personal benefit, individuals not only achieve greater personal satisfaction but also make a positive impact on the world. As such, the pursuit of Noble Goals enriches both the individual's life and the broader community, embodying the essence of emotional intelligence.

Last thoughts...This is not intended as medical or mental health advice. It is intended for education and personal development purposes. If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from any mental health challenge, including signs of burn out, it is recommend that they seek a medical or mental health professional immediately.

Copyright © 2024 EQFIT® - Author: Steven Goodner. All rights reserved. No portion of this material may be reproduced in any form without permission from the author, except as permitted by U.S. copyright law. For permissions contact:


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