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Thoughts: Are Your Goals Stopping You From Being Happy?

You set your goal at 5km. You reach it and set your goal at 10km. You reach it and set your goal to 15km. You reach it and set your goal to 20km. You reach it and set your goal to 25km. You reach it and set your goal to 30km. You reach it and set your goal to 35km. You reach it and set your goal to 40km. You reach it and set your goal to 45km. You reach it and set your goal to 50km. You reach it and set your goal to 55km. You reach it and set your goal to 60km. You reach it and set your goal to 65km. You reach it and set your goal to 70km. You reach it and set your goal to 75km. You reach it and set your goal to 80km. You reach it this point, you should stop reading this paragraph because it's never going to end.

The Idea Behind the Goal

The idea is that once we achieve a set goal, we experience an epiphany of emotions. We're elated and give ourselves a pat on the back. Well done. I wouldn't call it a problem, but I WILL call it an endless loop simply because we need to recognize individual limits.

We have aspirations and there are things we want to achieve in life before we vanish from planet Earth but here's a thought. What if we set the 'goal' as feelings instead of financial gains, miles and KGs lost?

Justin Brown from Ideapod wrote this piece about how goal-setting may NOT be the path to success and there is much truth in it.

Of course, there's no point in living if we didn't have something to strive towards. We all want to be better at what we do, and maybe become better parents or a better employer/employee.

Checking In With How You Feel

What I've changed along the way (it may not work for you but it's worth a shot) is to always check in with how I feel about what I am scuttling towards. If I were to write 10,000 words a day, how did that make me feel? Do I want to continue doing that? Is there anything I want to change?

If I keep writing at 10,000 words a day, no doubt I would be heading somewhere. But if I felt really crap about it, am I really achieving my real end goal?

Because let's look at it this way: 10,000 words a day is the short-term goal; telling stories, entertaining people and feeling happy is the big picture.

So, if I feel out of sorts writing 10,000 words a day, am I missing the point when the whole idea was to be happy doing it?

Predicting the Outcome with Goals, Disappointment when Unmet

Some may argue that disappointments are catalysts to further a cause, improve self-awareness and discipline. Goals help set the path and throughout the course of the journey, and we're guided and motivated by it.

Here's where we might have a cause for concern: we keep raising the bar...sometimes to an impossible level. Everything has a tipping point. And when we somehow fall short, self-shame and guilt bursts through the door like a bunch of cops on a drug bust.

What happens when a mountain climber is done with the highest mountain on earth?

Source: Image by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash

If we don't have 'high enough' standard goals that are accepted by moral crusaders of the world, we are simply labeled lazy, incompetent, or loafers. If someone is relatively contented with whatever good AND bad in their life, goes out to buy an expensive cone of ice-cream, people roll their eyes and whisper about them flatlining behind their backs. They're 'shameless', 'directionless' and 'unmotivated'.

Honestly, who set these standards?

Celebrate Every Etch and Sketch

Instead of using goals as a measuring stick, they should be used as guides and practical ways to keep ourselves in check. When we use it to predict the future, we might be walking down the path of unhappiness.

One good point to ponder is this: why do you think some of the best ideas come to us when we're practically making no effort to invite them? When we're answering nature's call, in the shower, staring into space waiting in the bank or for our Uber ride? These are times when we're seemingly 'goal-less'.

I've been writing for more than 18 years now - some good, some bad - but I've come away with some principles about life and work. I am reminded not to wait for the miraculous lightning bolt or blessings from deities. Goals are inspirations and there isn't a point in sitting around waiting for it to either strike or move us forward. We should show up every day ready for anything.

Ideas are everywhere and because we all experience different things in life, you might have a different view about it. While we do not all have to agree on everything, goal-setting included, we might all agree that we all want to be happy.

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Note: Let me know if you find errors or something offensive. I'll get them corrected as quickly as I can. And not forgetting, THANK YOU!


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