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Finite vs. Infinite Goals

Finite vs. Infinite Goals


I’ve become very very interested
in the idea of playing in games that have no finish lines. Some games have finish lines,
baseball, football. Getting a part is a finish line. You audition,
there’s a beginning, middle and end. There’s rehearsal and practice. There’s showing up for the audition and you either win or you lose,
and then it’s over. That is finite. But one’s career is infinite. There’s no end. It’s like our lives are finite but life is infinite. People come and
people go but life continues. Theater. Actors come and actors go
but theater continues. It’s infinite. You don’t win theater. You win a part.
But what happens once you get the part? The finite game is over. Now you enter the infinite game,
you have to be able to convert. And the reason this is important, and I’ve seen this unfortunately so many times, from a young age
all you wanted to do was get to Broadway. And then you get to Broadway,
and then what? You’ve devoted your entire life to one finite goal and when you get there,
the immediate response is depression because I spent 15 years of my life
for this one thing and I got it
and now I don’t know what to do next. Like what do,
get to Broadway again?! It doesn’t have the same ambition. It doesn’t have the same passion, that you’ve devoted, you’re from Fargo, North Dakota and that’s all you wanted to do is
get out of Fargo and make it to Broadway and you made it. It doesn’t have the same kind of passion. and this is because these are
finite goals. There’s a lot of studies that have been done with athletes who have finite goals. To become the greatest X in the world. So Andre Agassi was one of these athletes. He wanted to become the
greatest tennis player that ever lived. So guess what? Everyone in his life
he would view them through, how do you help me get to that? Everything was
how does this help me get to that? Everything was a transaction, how do you help me move to there, and then you know what happens? He achieved it,
he became the greatest tennis player in the world and you know what happened immediately after? Depression. Michael Phelps set out to become the most medaled Olympian in history Do you know what?
He achieved it. You know what happened immediately after? Depression. They spend their whole life working for
one goal. Though most will never get it, the few that do,
don’t know what to do next because their goals were finite. Their goals were finite. And so there are finite components to your career but your career should be infinite. So yes, of course you have to win
the finite game. You have to get the part. But immediately when you get the part now you convert to infinite.


Reader Comments

  1. Great message sir
    You always inspire me
    Lots of love and respect for you.
    Thank you so much for sharing great thoughts

  2. it is not what you get, it is in what you become to get the goal, Jim Rhon. You goals have to be finite, especific to archive it, then you move forward. Setting goals its not bad. and you say that michael phelps is 100% on depression? it is that proved? Clinical? he is human, he can have bad days, but now he is teaching others to become good athelts. The procces of getting more start with being greatfull for what you have right now.

  3. Your books, videos, speeches -you’ve helped and continue to help me be the best version of myself and I can’t thank you enough Simon! This video in particular really speaks to me!

  4. Do you know what I really because of your talks could combine such a beautiful view concerning goals ,life and dealing with people… thank you Simon

  5. I think you just explained a phenomenon that I am watching happen on social media at the moment. I see a lot of social media influencers who are doing ridiculously bad things, like accusing people of horrible acts, etc. I think they are bored. They achieved their goal and now they don't know what to do with themselves. Excellent video and timely. Thank you.

  6. I know the book this guy is talking about. Finite and Infinite Games by James P. Carse. You should check it out, guys

  7. You're one of my favorite speaker. I'm touched by your perspective of WHY right at the moment I read "Start with WHY"

  8. Another great video. I explored a similar theme on my leadership vlog involving a balloon race. No one knows the finish line until after the race starts. Go where the wind takes you. And sometimes to lead, you have to follow.

  9. This is so true Simon. One can't never follow such path. You lost so much on a way to get there only to find out there is no after. Very inspirationally. Thank you!

  10. This person is bridging the gaps between 'people'. We need more people like this in our society who encourage and motivate everyone both mentally and emotionally.. I came across his speeches three days before but I watched many of them within three days. Watching his speeches is more enjoyable rather than watching a movie..!!

    The society today needs guidance to be successful, guidance on how to use social media. In this digital world, we are loosing emotions, love, attachment and many other things.

    He is bridging all the gaps by explaining the coordination between everything..!!

  11. Interesting… But I am not sure what's the solution to avoid depression in case you have a finite goal.
    1. Convert to infinite after finishing the finite goal… What does it mean and how do you do that?
    2. To have multiple finite goals (but would it not affect our level of commitment towards each goals compared to a single goal in finite situation)
    3. Don't have finite goals
    4. Other

  12. That was a very very interesting concept. . .
    Explains how simple life really is, even though we end up making it so complex and sophisticated. . .
    I kinda had a hang of what Simon was saying just now, maybe a year ago but couldn’t really explain why some goals draw me more to ‘em while others couldn’t. .
    Now I realise that , this phenomenon could, be actually having something to do with finite vs. infinite. . .
    Thanks a million, Simon Sinek 🙏🏼
    I learn something really new and inspiring every time I listen to you. Kudos!

  13. Goals should be infinite because if they are not, and you reach them, the satisfaction of chasing the goal is gone, they are no longer fulfilling.

  14. Hello Simon,
    I have been watching all your videos and I think you are the person who came closest to my thoughts and understanding of life and career. I have been struggling a little in my career and need advise. If you are reading this, can you please help out a young guy figure out some tough questions in life? I would appreciate if you can help me out! Maybe one day i'd be able to give back to the world more than i took from it!

  15. This has a dangerous undertone of: you’ve achieved what you want , now you’re depressed. WTF. 2 examples and now it becomes a generality. Dangerous concept. That’s stupid.

  16. Sir do you have any community or organisation i want to join you .. and also want to share my thought.. and want to learn from you!!
    Your are awesome!!

  17. guys there is a way to have a rest with listening it search in youtube on هزاع البلوشي ما تيسر من القران

  18. Sir I'm your great fan…Sir I like your videos so much.
    Sir I want to ask something
    That can I upload your videos on my channel also so that my audience is also able to learn more things by your videos. Sir please

  19. Mr. Anti-Technology is taking advantage of technology to make himself money. Great job, Sinek! Mr. “Omg, millennials are disgusting and repugnant human beings,” — says the man that comes from a country where one individual was the result of 4.5 million Indian deaths. Get out of here.

  20. I'm seeing how this applies to everything. As a school teacher I was frustrated with students learning just to pass a test. That's finite. Infinite learning sees the information as valuable for "what comes next." Think about finite vs infinite in our relationships. Finite attributes are physical qualities and infinite attributes are character qualities. If a guy goes after a girl for a finite reason, she's attractive and then gets her, what next? In an infinite relationship, he sees the girl as someone who has character qualities like integrity, infinite because it can't be measured. OK. I'll have to work on that more but I think it will work. Don't marry a finite person. Marry an infinite person. Simon is a beast. I would love to go to lunch with him one day.

  21. What about SMART way of setting goals? They should be time bound. I think Mr. Sinek is talking about some other kind of goal, maybe a mission.

  22. Thanks for this short video! I believe, Infinity is one of the most important aspects, that we need to consider in general, not just for careers. Simon Sinek is probably best known for emphasizing the "Why" (Purpose) and I think that this is very much related to the finite/infinite dichotomie. I think, whenever you have the sense of touching the infinite in a positive way, you feel purposeful and ultimately you feel good/joyful. My belief is this: There really is one ultimate way to get in touch with infinity and thus, reach the most fullfilling life: It is when you meet the only infinite personal being that exists: God. Sorry, if that sounds like preaching, but I think that's it. Jesus gave us this key to the purposeful and joyful life. It is actually quite simple: To be reconciled to God (forgiveness of sins) and get to know HIM everyday a bit more and act according to HIS will, which is not bound to space and time = Infinity. This (only) will lead us human beings to everlasting joy, including pursuing a career, which is not defined by your finite career goals, but it is defined by what the eternal God wants to accomplish with you and your career, which (as being related to God) is not limited, but has eternal implications. And since I am already preaching 😉 This how the Bible describes our deep longing for eternal value: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart" – Ecclesiastes 3:11 ———- (And if you really read this long comment fully: Congratulations! Keep running 😉 )

  23. I really find your books, videos, speeches really inspiring. I really want to share with more people in the language of mandarin. Can I translate your videos?

  24. Schwarzenegger: set goals achieve them and then set the next goal… stay hungry. You don't get into depression because you achieved your goal… you get depressed because you weren't hungry enough for the next goal and stagnated/bored etc.

  25. michael phelps wasnt depressed because he had reached his "goal', he became depressed because he started doing marijuana and alcohol, he was partying too much, it had nothing to do with " now what". he wanted to end his life because of his foolish choices and because he didnt see who he really is other than a drinker…fast forward to now …he has a wife and kid and looks different than he did. guess what he also did…he came back to the 2016 olympics and finally retired as the greatest swimmer in the history of the olympicsand possibly of all time. he then came back to his wife and kid and he has been living happy ever since. i think the majority of the time we see others and judge them and assume their goals are finite when really there is a much bigger objective the majority are looking after. Simon i do this along with you and others also, and i need to stop it, its disrespectful to people who are working their butt off for something. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO IS HAVE A CONFERENCE ON PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY ARE BORED. BOREDOM IS THE SIGN THAT they have finite goals.

  26. Am I the only one who finds the irony that this video is finite in not giving at least a general idea of how to convert from finite to infinite?

  27. Hi Simon.

    The New York Times recently posted your talk on the infinite game from 2016.

    My comment on the video drew some ire and these are causing me to question my judgement.

    Please check it out and give your input. After feeling confident in my view of the type of leadership message you bring to the game, I am having doubts as to whether I got the message or missed the point completely.

    Thanks in advance.

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