There is a lot of talk about goals going on at the moment, and so there should be. Goals make the world go round. If we don't set any goals we are directionless and at the mercy of external circumstances which dictate and change our life course like the wind getting us nowhere fast.
What happens though when we measure our total success, our value, and self worth on achieving goals?
1. We can become obsessed with achieving, completing and on the outcome of goals.
We may set goals and go out of our way to achieve them, sometimes at any cost. As an example someone who becomes obsessed with completing fitness goals may rush ahead to do a longer distance run, or to lift a heavier weight before their body is ready, and cause themselves to get injured. Or they may become blinkered to other areas in their life and neglect them such as time with family and friends and even sleep!
2. We will get hurt and low when we miss or don't achieve a goal.
If we put all of our focus, energy, self worth, value into achieving a goal and something completely out of our control happens and prevents us completing our goal... we are going to feel pretty bad.
3. We won't set any more awesome goals!
If we put a high value and emphasis on goal completion and have experienced the pain of not achieving a set goal in the past, we may be scared to set any goals in the future. Or perhaps we may only set ourselves small very safe, uninspiring goals, that we can achieve with ease and that won't contribute to our growth as a person.
So what do we do?!
We need to change our perception of goals. When we set a goal instead of putting all the focus on the end point, the finish line, we should pay attention to the journey.
The journey is where life is. When we set goals, if they are in line with our values, interests and are taking us closer to the person we want to be (emphasis on the word taking). The experiences, events and learning along the way should be our focus.
The journey can teach us and give us far more than the completion of the goal ever could, and to think we would have missed it if we were only looking at the finish line.
So go! Set awesome goals, but pay attention to the journey, that's the real goal, that's where life is, right now.
Bad Guys Can be Useful
But they shouldn’t be essential.
‘Bad guys’..... I use the term loosely, implies a kind of everyday negative situation/circumstance/person that shows up and that although unpleasant, sometimes can offer us focus, purpose and drive.
This however, can only last us so long and only get us so far. What happens when the ‘bad guy’ goes away?
We are all looking for that place to work from, for some meaning and direction in this busy confusing world and sometimes we find a place of certainty and place to ‘push off’ from in the form of a ‘bad guy’. Feeling directionless can for some people feel quite unpleasant, so having a clear obstacle in the form of a 'bad guy' to overcome might feel quite comforting at the time.
What happens though when we place all of our focus and drive on these external factors? They change, they disappear and therefore so does our purpose, direction and focus. Once we feel we have settled into a clear direction and into something that we can push against, the 'bad guy', could just as soon be gone, leaving us in the wilderness of directionlessness once again.
Ok, the ‘bad guys’ gone, how can this be a bad thing I hear you ask? Well if this has been your chosen, accidentally habitually trained, method of working in the past its possible we may want to seek out another ‘bad guy’ to overcome, or create one from an otherwise non-threatening scenario in order to feel a sense of direction again and thus a connection to the world around us.
This can distance us from our values
A reliance on having a ‘bad guy’ to overcome in order to find some direction, may mean that our actions are actually not in line with what matters most to us, but lie in external circumstance. When our attention is focussed on overcoming a ‘bad guy’ we may lose sight of what it is we truly care about and how we want to act.
We should all be aware of, or be working towards finding what it is in our lives that we genuinely value and hold dear to us. We want to work from a place that allows a sense of internal traction and direction. So that ‘bad guys’ can come and go and we can recognise them, be aware of the messages they hold, values they might illicit, but not feel we have to fight them and base our meaning and existence in this world upon them.
Bad guys aren’t all bad.
In fact they can be a useful beacon. When observed correctly ‘bad guys’ can offer us a level of insight that we can use. If something is causing us discomfort or pain, chances are behind that pain is something we genuinely care about. A perspective shift to overcoming that ‘bad guy’ to ‘make it go away’, to a perspective of working towards the value behind that ‘bad guy’ means that even if you over come that particular obstacle, the things that matter to you in life are still there for you to work towards. Your direction in life becomes yours, not ‘bad guy’ dependent.