Chase Your Desires And Not Your Goals
Not so long ago, I decided to ditch my goals.
I grew up with goals. In elementary school, my teacher would have us set goals. They were concrete and measurable things like read 30 pages a week, achieve 85% pass rate on my next maths quiz. In high school, the trend continued.
When I was younger, goals never really made sense to me. They felt more like a glorified list of things to do and achieve. But somewhere along the line, the task of goal setting caught on and I began to use it again.
However, after several years of goal setting, I felt like something was missing. Sure, I could get the project up and out within a certain time frame but for what? and why? I could save x amount of money then what? I could go and travel to certain places but what for?
The more I raised these questions to myself, the more I began to wonder if I was having a quarter life existential crisis.
And perhaps I was.
I began to examine my life, my place in the world and what I wanted. 99.9% of the time, my goals did not contribute or align with what I wanted in life at all. In fact, it sometimes even contradicted it, adding to my overall growing sense of misery.
As I looked inward I began to realize the missing link that all those goal setting sessions back in school never taught me.
Goals should be the stepping stones towards achieving what you desire. They are the strategies to your mission statement.
While its easy to set goals, I found that there is no sense of fulfillment when actioned without a cause. Sure, I set myself the task of reading so many books in a year, but what will I achieve from it? Or go running every day, then what?
When my goals and its expected outcomes aligned with my personal desires, the more I began to feel more fulfilled in both the chase and the achievement.
Goals are self made and self imposed while desires exists at a deeper and much more personal level. Setting goals that contributed to fulfilling my desires allowed me to work on myself. It contribute to my personal self growth — something I deeply desire but was not working towards because I was setting goals to fulfill the desires of others.
The more I chased my desires rather than my goals, the happier and self aware I became. Goals became secondary to my personal mission. It supplemented my journey towards what I want rather than just acting as stand alone things to achieve.