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How to Elevate Your Success this Year (Soul-line versus Goal-line)

Have you ever heard the saying that we’re, “human beings, not human doings”?

There was a time when I thought this was just existential nonsense.

I was trying to hustle and become successful!

I wanted to be busy! I wanted to be productive and work hard!

Being a workaholic used to be a badge of honor for me.

As long as I was “doing” something I felt like I was worthy.

I didn’t understand the concept of “being.”

People used to ask how I was doing and I was quick to respond with “I’m so busy!”

“I’m just so busy these days I barely have any free time!”

Internally I was thinking: “Aren’t you proud of me?” “Don’t you think I’m important now?”

An innocent mistake of social conditioning right?

Pardon my candor, but who in the hell wants to be so busy they have no free time?

We want to be productive and get things done, but we also want to have freedom for how we spend and use our time.

This became a continued practice for me when I decide to change what I focused on.

I shifted my focus to how I’m “being” and showing up on a daily basis, instead of just what I’m doing.

So, since we’re nearing the end of  January, I wanted to share an important distinction that I learned from a coach name Stephen McGhee.

Hopefully this concept can help you elevate your success and well-being this year.

The distinction is between our “Goal-line” and our “Soul-line”.

In other words, what we’re DOING vs. how we’re BEING!

What is the goal-line?

The goal-line the outward success we’re working towards. It’s our external concept of success. It’s the goals we have for relationships, finances, physical health, and our career.

The goal-line is our traditional goal-setting model.

“I want to lose 15 pounds in the next six months.”

“I want to double my income in the next three years.”

It’s the horizontal line in our life path where we start at point A and are working to get to point B.

It’s where you are now compared to where you want to be regarding external achievements and accomplishments.

This is all good and an important aspect of creating what we want in life, but it’s an incomplete model of how to create the life we really really desire.


It’s incomplete because the goal-line or horizontal axis of our life is inextricably linked with our soul-line or vertical axis of being.

Growing on the soul-line opens up new possibilities for the goal line.

What is the Soul-line?

The soul-line is the vertical axis of our life. This is spirituality, our consciousness, our inside-out growth and evolution.

It’s our faith, intuition, and courage.

This is how we show up in the world and our perspective on life.

It’s our ability to think bigger and step beyond our comfort zone.

It’s how we deal with adversity and make meaning of life.

We must focus on both our outer success and our inner-growth.

The more we grow as a person, expanding our self-awareness and consciousness, the more we realize what we’re capable of.

  • We’ll be in a higher state of mind, thinking from a place of curiosity and creativity.
  • We’ll be more confident and be able to handle set-backs more effectively.
  • We’ll have more fun and be more playful, and in doing so see more opportunities.

So, if you haven’t done so, make a list of your soul-line intentions for the New Year.

How can you grow internally and work on your state of being?

How can you practice being more conscious and self-aware?

How do you need to be to achieve your goal-line intentions?

If you can apply this, it will increase your chances of reaching your other external goals.

Have fun with this idea and let me know what you think!

Photo credit: Kristof Magyar

How to Elevate Your Success this Year (Soul-line versus Goal-line)

Joe Wilner

Joe Wilner is a life coach, licensed clinical psychotherapist (LCP), and drummer from the band Yes You Are. He is also creator of You Have a Calling, a blog and online community helping people discover and pursue their life’s work and mission. Through deep and personalized coaching, he helps ambitious, creative, and spiritually minded individuals make a greater impact, grow as leaders, and design a soulful life they are inspired by.

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APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2017). How to Elevate Your Success this Year (Soul-line versus Goal-line). Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Jan 2017
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