Pascal Derrien

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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The Regular Guy(de)

I have been talking about pretty heavy stuff recently so I thought today I should lighten up a bit. Have I have ever told you about my pet hate for plans? I am a go with the flow type of guy and I sure know I drive my lovely wife bananas. Speaking of bananas, have you ever slipped on one? I mean a giant skin that derailed you irrevocably from set in stone, cautiously, and diligently crafted forecast plans? 

So here is the question, how many of you have actually fallen into the trap of the goal setting plan?

As far as I am concerned I am not one of them but then again I would not do well in the technical challenge for the Great Irish Bake Off TV program, it has been proven time and time again that I have some difficulty to follow a simplistic IKEA step by step guide, I am utterly inadequate at long term design let alone cooking complex recipes. I am great a reheating though. The French Army strongly recommended me to skip the 12 months’ conscription adding that it would be an excellent idea providing my skill set and my interpretation of the chain of command.

A plan with no goals is just a wish?

I wish I could do plans really I wish but I would feel like settling for nothing if I settle for later, don’t get me wrong I am not a loose cannon either or anti organization, I am somewhat OK with directionally driven discussions as long as I can adapt the framework, what I dislike is rigidity. If I feel I cannot use my intuition I get agitated and sometimes I actually switch off if I feel I am trapped. Maybe I suffer from some form of intellectual claustrophobia (there be must be a name for that one), does it really matter if I prefer zig zags to Zig Ziglar? 

Are we world apart then?

Probably not but please don’t impose your views on me, it reminds me that I was given a book on goal setting obviously coming from somebody who knows me well or maybe there was a subtle message there, well anyway if that’s the case the message was coded and probably a bit too cryptic for me I actually never read the book, nice cover though and pretty handy if you want to kill a mosquito with it. It is probably well written maybe it is even enjoyable I guess if you are in this kind of things. But would you not like to be surprised instead and have your own spontaneous Darwinist version of life? 

When plans turn into self-obsession?

In 2015 I signed up early for a big marathon planned in October of the same year, well I did not get to do it and I ditched the plan……. but with no fanfare or trumpets or any big announcement in the press I did two unannounced marathon races in August instead. That was two months ahead of ‘’plan’’, so in your face Mr Plan. Secretly I would have loved to stick to a plan and somewhat admire those who do while admittedly I don’t understand why people create training scorecards and obsessively tick boxes on the latest running software app…. this is alien to me all a bit too clinical too, I just don’t get it but you know what? I respect it.

The chase is better than the catch?

I have heard that one a million times, the famous quote about the destination and the journey, the chase is better than the catch one of the biggest cliché in the Corporate world. Not sure though this would work economically speaking @ Fisherman Inc?  Something funny has taken place in Ireland the last 10 years, we are a very small country but we have thousands of thousands of motivational speakers who apparently all have their unique way to say exactly the same thing.

There must be a franchise of some kind out there that I am not aware of, there are so many life gurus, expensive coaches, holy grail explorers, game plan hunters or I can walk on water consultants that I suspect they outnumber largely the number of potential clients but I digress here. Where was I again before I got distracted by the clones? Ah yes goals and contradiction yep I was also told one can move the goal post so what’s the point about setting objectives if you move them. I am told this is adaptation Sir.  Go figure!.

Self-doubt as an engine?

In appraisals, performance reviews and other various management vehicles I often call out the power of self-doubt as a positive engine. I know, you are not the first ones raising eye brows, I am often getting a cold reception with that one. For me it is super simple, I guess we don’t all live in the land of hyper achievers or spend week- ends hacking around super uber-creative planets.

I know everybody is awesome is Legoland but I also think it is healthy to look at self and understand limits, boundaries, and decide that there are some areas that are maybe a step too far. Whether you agree or not when was the last time you took a look at yourself? Besides just taking selfies that is? 

A new year ahead of you?

Topical and easy subject with all the new year’s resolutions flying around the blocks at the moment. What you are going to be up to the next 12 months? I mean except planning the summer holidays, have you ever seen a resolution been led to completion, have you ever had all your personal commitments being met? How long do the intent last? 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months’ top?

I don’t know you but there’s always seem to be a guy or a girl (but mainly guys because they are loud :-)) who will bore you to death with his stories and tell you how important it is to have milestones and drive; I agree; it drives me nuts. 

I am just a regular guy. I have not seen the light, stumbled over a flask of concentrate Eureka or had an epiphany moment recently nor have I discovered a goal mine either. I hope you won’t be too disappointed I will not be in a position to be sharing the secret recipe for success and fame, I have lost the manual. 

How about you stop feeling inadequate, forget the cult of celebrity and park the pedestal tyranny road show for a minute. Instead why don’t you keep doing whatever that you do in life that works for you and value the time spent here, be curious if not adventurous, own your destiny and live life on your terms how unspectacular it can be, set your own standards and forget the ‘’know it all’’ advisors. 

Don’t worry, like me you will be told that you are a bit unorthodox, contrary even and probably a business heretic but here you go my advice is that you don’t need any advice. Not being part of the shiny show does not mean you are wearing a failure coat, you really don’t need somebody to tell you what to say, how to say it, what business books to read, which conference you should attend or in which category your dreams need to fall into!! 

Life is a very unorganized trip and that’s pretty OK if you just want to be one of the passengers, you do your own extra ordinary things far from the spot lights, you do what you got to do discreetly, day in day out. 

Actually you probably are one of the few of us who have the zen factor, it brings a smile to your face when the overly stressed herd of wannabe elites (who by the way urgently need to make a purchase at their nearest personality store) refer to your attitude towards life as being typical of a



Light stuff

No Writing Plan

Goal Mine


Too Many Conferences and key notes that were forgettable

Sandals & Shorts

Books I have not read

2nd degree just in case …. :-) 

Picture Credits

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Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #8

many thanks Tausif for sonme thoughtful comments :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #7

ah Catalina G\u00e1lvez Urrutia the good news is no plan no stress just try :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #6

thats a kool story the furture is hybrid I am told :-)

Dean Owen

5 years ago #5

Certainly don't mind the heavy stuff Pascal Derrien. On planning, it is said that if you have Asians and Westerners on the bank of a river, and tell them to build a bridge over the river, the Westerners would get their equipment out and start measuring and designing the bridge. Months later they would start laying the foundations. The Asian on the other hand, would just start plonking stones in the water until they reached the other side. As a Eurasian, I guess I am a bit of both.

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #4

as you do :-)

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #3

thanks Ken this will be remembered as ''revolution friday'' from now on :-) , let's free ouselves from plans !!! :-)

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #2

By the way, if you agree, I'll put it in my diary. 📅 👍

Ken Boddie

5 years ago #1

Yes, Pascal. I've fallen into the goal setting trap and I keep falling in, even after it's bitten me on the bum. I'm a hopeless serial planner, using both a hard copy management diary and Outlook diary when in the office, and Mac diary at home and on my iPhone. Yet I've always had problems with goals. Perhaps I should start looking for your elusive "goal mine"? Thanks for the fun post. Perhaps Fridays should be fun post days?

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