Friday, February 26, 2010

Goals and Achievement

Ours is an achievement oriented society.  We're expected to have goals and to work hard and persevere to achieve them.  We are always looking ahead to what we hope to accomplish.  Granted, having goals is very motivating.  When a person is working towards something it helps to keep him focused and gives him reason to push harder.  When things get tough the desired goal shines before us like a beacon, beckoning us forward; this keeps us going. 

But what if you don't really have a goal?  After I graduated from high school I had a lot of goals.  I wanted to earn my Master's degree in five years, I wanted to work for two years and get licensed in my field, I wanted to find a satisfying and well paying career, and I wanted to buy a home.  I was very motivated and I worked hard.  At 23, 5 years after I started, I earned my Master's degree.  At 25 I bought a home.  At 26, maybe 6 months later than I'd planned, I got licensed in my field.  Six months after that I found a satisfying and well paying job. 

So now what?

For the past two years that's the question that's been haunting me.  I've looked for new goals -- maybe I could go back to school!  I even applied and was accepted to a doctorate program.  Then I realized I'd have to move away from the people I love and give up the home I'd recently bought in order to do it.  And I decided it wasn't worth it. 

So now I'm wondering - Why do I need a goal?  I worked hard to achieve what I've achieved; can't I just sit back and enjoy it?  Can't I just say, "I'm where I want to be" and be done with it? 

Personally I'm okay with that, but I feel like I'm expected to want more or to do more.  Maybe that's just a projection; maybe I really expect myself to want more or to do more. 

These are just some thoughts I have.  I don't have the answers to my questions but I wonder what others think.  Is it enough to just be where you are?  Or should one aspire to be and do more?


  1. I think those were materials stuff, what you and Me need is spirituality. Are you dualist? Do you believe in God? Do you believe in life after death? These are the most important things that afect our desicions.

  2. Meaning that our goals should be to live a good life, to do what God wants, and to make it to Heaven? All worthy goals I think.

  3. Hi Melody, interesting post!

    I've been meaning to pop over for a while to say a huge THANKS for telling me about Cheri Huber. Her books and radio programs are just wonderful, they have offered such enormous insight for me in my practice.

    I can't recommend her highly enough to other people (I'm actually giving away one of her books on my blog at the moment...that's how impressed I am). So, thanks heaps!


  4. No matter what we choose, in my opinion, life is (should be) about GROWTH... whatever the specifics.

    If we're not growing, what are we doing?

    When people focus on "goals," they very often think of material things... home, degree, $$, etc. Rarely, do we talk about personal, spiritual growth. Growth from the inside-out is (should be) our primary motivation. We're taught, unfortunately, to strive for the outside-in. Earn $$, buy the car, home, get our Masters, etc.

    How about learning to strive for PEACE... peace that can only be found on the inside. If we find this, all our problems and stresses will vanish. More importantly, the journey to that Peace will be our most important "goal."

    Our Motivation is the 'carrot.' Our Goals should be the day-to-day actions we take to achieve our Motivation.

    Keep growing, Melody. Just from what I know about you (as small amount I do know)... standing still will never make you feel happy.


  5. Emma -- You are most welcome! I too was very impressed with Cheri Huber. Glad I could share my discovery:-)

    Dayne -- I actually thought about you as I was writing this post and so was looking forward to your feedback. I like the idea of striving for peace. You're right -- I've been thinking of goals as external things to achieve, earn, or "get." I'm constantly working when it comes to spiritual goals and self-improvement. And you are right -- I'd never be happy standing still:-) Thanks for the feedback!

  6. Interesting Post.
    Creativity and imagination from pictures of Jose Ramon Thanks for the comments


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