Friday, April 8, 2011

Vision and Goals

I am definitely in the midst of processing the 3-day Lululemon Ambassador Summit. We spent a lot of time talking about Vision, Mission Statements and Goal Setting. We got a lot of help with how to bring one's vision to life through manageable, well-planned sequential goals. I thought this was great since I have been so on the theme of Aim these days. We had some good break out sessions on creating brand identity in our business, how to globalize our offerings and how to use social media to meet our goals more effectively. We had good social time, an asana practice every morning and we even got to be involved in some creative brainstorming regarding product design. It was a pretty amazing experience all in all.

We had a chance to hear from the company founder, the CEO, as well as other members of the management team. I was blown easy by their approach to management their commitment to transparency, their ethics and the way they work with individual as well as shared goals and vision. I found the management to be humble, empowered, focused, compassionate, direct, honest and I walked away super happy to be involved with the company.

Additionally striking was the commitment Lululemon has to their Ambassadors. Ever since I have been involved with Lululemon, they have told me how important the Ambassadors are to the company's mission and while I knew that was true, I did not know the extent of their commitment to us as Ambassadors until The Summit. Seeing 100+ people all gathered at The Four Seasons in Whistler, BC for three days of fellowship, training and networking all on the company's expense might have helped drive the point home a bit. But more than that even was hearing from the Leadership Team repeatedly that they are dedicated to our personal success was quite striking. I got something about what they are doing with the Ambassador program that I hadn't really experienced before. So that was cool.

I enjoyed having some time for personal reflection and to consider my own vision and and mission and set some goals for myself. I have never really been a focused goal setter. I tend to do a lot of it naturally and I am a reasonably organized and disciplined person so if I decide to do something, I can usually clear away the necessary time, energy and resources to do it. Also, I have found that life has surprised me a lot and so many things that I enjoy and delight in are outside my scope of imagination and the timing couldn't have been predicted or planned for in a linear way.

Also I find it requires some work on my part to really get in touch with the aspect of myself that I want to set my goals from. See, I think we can set goals from our lower ambitions, our insecurities, jealousies and our greed or we can set goals from the alignment we have with our Heart and its values. I find setting measurable goals from that place to be a little more challenging since successful Heart-based outcomes are often harder do measure and are not always going to fall into parameters that are easy to check off a list. In fact much of what makes teaching yoga rewarding is hard to quantify and chasing outside approval and validation for the work is a pretty slippery slope to discontent, grasping and a whole host of patterns that have their roots in some fairly murky water.

All that being said, I found a groove with the work and I am making some headway on the project. For me, it kind of boils down to working smarter, not harder. I plan to incorporate some stronger boundaries around rest, time off and how I spend my energy. And I have some super exciting projects in mind for the next few years.

And honestly, I am not of the mindset that believes yoga is not a goal-oriented pursuit. My opinion is that is has always been goal-oriented and the idea of "no goal" is a misapplication of the non-dual perspective. I mean really, hasn't the whole experiment always been aimed at the direct experience of The Self? Sounds like a goal to me. (just sayin.') One thing that I do think goal setting does is to help us consciously align with what matters to us and then to focus our daily actions on our truer aims rather than squander our time on things we care less about. And what this outer, action-based alignment with Aim does is call into motion The Law of Attraction. When our actions are aligned with our Heart then we create a momentum that is not only going to take us into a certain stream but will mobilize and attract to us to the very lessons, experiences and opportunities that we need to manifest what our Heart most truly desires.

One teaching I love from Paul Muller Ortega has to do with just that. He said one time that tantra, instead of attempting to eradicate desire in the way that the Classical Yoga traditions did, attempts to satisfy, fulfill and transmute desire. He suggested that over time, the yogi progresses through sadhana to a state where our self-based desires become Self-Referenced instead. We literally being to desire a life of practice, discipline, service and these ideals are pursued from a sincere desire to live a life of integrated dignity and devotion. No longer an outside structure, sadhana, service and so forth become what we want. Lee used to say it's the best joke there is- The Path will give you whatever you want but by the time you get it "you" may not be there to enjoy it! (Lee was master of The Fine Print.)

But in the case of Lululemon goal setting, its more about moving into choice, into accountability and away from complaint, blame and victimhood regarding the outcomes we are generating in our lives. It's an invitation to dare to dream, to apply ones efforts deliberately and to allow a community of people to support you in the endeavor.

Anyway, this weekend takes me to Arcata, CA for a weekend workshop. I was there about 6 months ago. It's pretty odd that I get to go somewhere two times in the same calendar year for a workshop. I am looking forward to being there and seeing everyone again. I really had a great time the last time I was there. On a completely unrelated note, I am on the loudest plane ever while I am writing. (small exaggeration but wow, it's so loud!)


Terri said...

this is great...I needed this perspective today (and everyday) Christina, especially noticing when I might be setting goals from a lower ambition....interesting!! Thanks!

GEC Online Community said...

Glad you had such a great time at the Ambassador Summit, Christina! We have so many ambassadors across North America that it's nice to see all of you in the same place for once!
~ Laura, lululemon athletica

Christina Sell said...

It was an amazing experience for sure. I know the inspiration is going to keep deepening and manifesting.

USCJan said...

Making time to read more is a goal in my head, & esp your blog. Tks Christina !

Scott Newsom said...

Plese ask them to bring back the Down Dog pant!

Dale said...

Be sure to visit (with a guide) the Plaza and the skate park and the donut shop eternal. Check out the Arcata Eye before you go

And especially, because it is the funniest thing ever, read back a couple of years in the Polica Log