Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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River Person or Goal Person

September 24th, 2003 · 1 Comment

Dina Mehta quotes from an article by Chuck Frey:

The late self-help expert, Earl Nightingale, once explained that there are two types of people: river people and goal people. Both types of people can experience personal fulfillment and success in life, although in different ways.

Goal People

Most of us are undoubtedly familiar with goal people. They are the individuals who write down their objectives and timetables for reaching them, and then focus on attaining them, one by one. By laying out a roadmap of future achievements in front of them, goal people give their creative minds a clear set of stimuli to work on. Their subconscious minds can then get to work incubating ideas and insights that will help them to reach their goals.

River People

River people, on the other hand, don’t like to follow such a structured route to success. They are called river people because they are happiest and most fulfilled when they are wading in a rich “river” of interest — a subject or profession about which they are very passionate. While they may not have a concrete plan with measurable goals, river people are often successful because they are so passionate about their area of interest.

River people are explorers, continually seeking out learning opportunities and new experiences. For river people, joy comes from the journey, not from reaching the destination — exactly the opposite of goal people.

Recognizing both qualities in yourself — Most people are a combination of these two personality types. I know I am. In my full-time job, I am expected to be goal oriented. I have specific personal and departmental objectives for which I’m responsible. At the same time, however, I get the most “juice” out of being an explorer, learning new skills, collecting information and writing about innovation and technology.

So beautifully written. I guess I am a bit of both, though the river person tends to dominate. What about you?

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