The term “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” is one I’ve heard in a few contexts.
One is the corporate – these are the goals that stretch the team to its breaking point and from them, true innovation can happen. Think of the current TV show on AMC, “Halt and Catch Fire” which we are currently watching. It takes place in the early to mid-1980’s and it’s the birth of the PC. Well, probably more like a PC clone, as during this time, IBM had their version of a PC and Steve Jobs was playing around at Apple. (Heck, both Microsoft and Apple were full of BHAGs – and the fact that my phone is actually a computer is proof of this.)
The other context is the personal – especially among the seminars like The Forum which promised to turn your life upside down and sideways. They are a combination of insights into how you actually live your life, along with a big dose of assuming responsibility towards your life.
I’ve been through those seminars (actually a clone of the old EST, of which The Forum is an offshoot), and they do work to transform – for awhile. Often, though, there isn’t a good way to keep what you’ve learned. It’s easy to fall back into old ways of being and bad habits. Six months to a year after the seminar and you’re right back where you started, or maybe not exactly where you started, but not terribly far from it, either.
So my BHAGs are actually set up to make habits of most of them, and to embed these into my being enough to be slowly transformed over the year.
My hope is that if I’m successful, then I will be able to keep the transformation as part of myself. Not wonder where it went.