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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...
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Why We Care What Others Think of Us

At a time when our ancestors shared the planet with woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers, no one wanted to get left behind. Group inclusion was necessary for survival. Today, our greatest predatory threat is our own species, both physically and socially.

Regardless of this threat shift, the need for acceptance—and the fear that we won't be accepted—remain powerful influences on our thoughts and feelings. In fact, this in large measure fuels the existential anxiety that has become the hallmark of a generation, driving everything from people-pleasing to co-dependence to over-sharing on social media.

In other words, while our brains have evolved, that part of it that believes we must ensure we are included in our tribe, no matter the cost, is alive and well. It’s commonly referred to as our lizard brain.

The lizard brain is a physical location at the base of the brain. It’s called the amygdala, and it’s related to, among other things, our survival...

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