Is the Goal Really the Point? (Hint... it's not.)
Most of us would like a new car or a bigger house. Or maybe you’d like to climb Mount Everest. However, if you were instantly teleported to the top of Everest, you wouldn’t be as happy or fulfilled as if you actually climbed it. Our goals are more than just things we want to have or achieve. There’s much more to it.
You might think that you’d like to have a magic genie at your disposal. But it would be a lot less enjoyable than you think.
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to your goals!
Consider these ideas:
- If you could have everything you want just magically appear, would you find that satisfying? If you’re like most people, you have a long list of things you’d like to see, do, and have.
- Imagine you could just suddenly snap your fingers and be wealthy, play the piano, see Paris, lose 30 pounds, have a successful business, be married to the person of your dreams, and have three kids.
- Imagine that and ask yourself how that would feel. If what you really want is to simply have all those things, you’d jump at that deal. However, you probably aren’t that excited when it’s presented this way.
- The process of achieving something might be more important to you. Growing a business, finding your perfect romantic partner, and figuring out how to become wealthy are part of the journey.
- Things don’t mean as much if you don’t have to work for them.
- How do you feel the day after completing a goal? Think about a big goal you’ve achieved. It might be landing a particular job, graduating from school, or seeing Hawaii. How did you feel shortly after it was over?
- Soon after your great success, you probably felt surprisingly blah about the whole matter. Why do you think this is?
- Is it the struggle that matters to you? Maybe the struggle is what appeals to you. Maybe it’s not winning, but putting in the time, sweat, and tears that make it all worthwhile. Maybe it’s the thrill of overcoming a challenge. You certainly don’t experience that when you don’t have to work for something.
- Is it the personal growth that makes achieving goals satisfying? Is having a successful business exciting? Or is it learning new skills, developing the perfect sales pitch, and becoming a new and improved version of yourself?
- To achieve a big goal, you must grow and develop yourself. Is this what really appeals to you?
- Struggling leads to learning. If a new car is just handed to you, you lost an opportunity to learn how to earn, save, and invest your money. When you face challenges, you’re forced to learn. Either you study, or you make mistakes and corrections. Both are forms of learning.
Think about all the things you’ve achieved. Now, imagine all of those things had just been handed to you. How does that make you feel? Would you still be the same person if you’d lost 50 pounds by waving a magic wand versus changing your diet and working hard at the gym?
We get more from achieving goals than just the end result.
Our goals are a way to struggle and grow. Goals provided a sense of accomplishment when they require work and effort to achieve. Self-confidence and self-esteem grow as well when goals are set and accomplished.
Having something handed to you is nice but delivers much less meaning. So, avoid wishing for good luck. Instead, wish to be stronger and more determined. Although achieving it is fantastic, the goal itself isn’t really the point!
(Plus, let's be honest, it just feels good to check things off a list!)