I’ve come to realize one thing that has led to a lot of frustration in my life has been setting goals. I know there’s a lot of talk about goal setting. However, my experience has been frustrating when it comes to goals. Maybe it’s my unique personality and how I’m relating to these goals but it’s been frustrating.
Have you ever been frustrated by goals? I’ve set goals and then life happens. Something happens that gets in the way and I get frustrated and impatient because it’s keeping me from my goal. Maybe your life is all smooth sailing and if so you better appreciate it. For me when life interrupts one of my goals it’s frustrating. The other thing that is frustrating is when I get close but don’t achieve my goal. I suppose I could reframe my thinking and be glad that I got as close as I did. But instead, I feel like I failed.
I’ve come to realize I can still have goals but I frame them very differently.
Old Goal Challenge
Here’s a quick look at the old way I looked at goals. For example, if I had a goal of climbing Mount Everest and a thousand feet from the top an unexpected storm blew in I wouldn’t be able to reach my goal. I would be incredibly frustrating. I would be tempted to do something stupid like try for the summit in the storm. I’d feel like I had to achieve my goal. I could even try for the summit after the storm when I don’t have the adequate supplies to do it safely.
The above approach doesn’t enhance my life.
Have a Big Purpose
However, if I had a larger purpose and said I choose to live an adventurous life it changes things. There I am on Everest and the storm blows in. There I am stuck in my tent knowing I can’t reach the summit but what does that mean to me now? Sure it would be nice to get to the top but I am living an adventurous life. And even if I did make the top and could check that goal off then want? However, with the idea of living an adventurous life, it’s just one of the adventures that I’ve had and many more await.
If you set goals for your business and are frustrated about how that’s working out try changing your perspective. Say your a physical therapist, instead of setting goals for how many patients you see a day or a week change it up. Instead, try something like this, I choose to live a life that allows me to bring healing to people. This doesn’t limit you but it frees you from the constraints of trying to achieve goals.
Anything you do to pursue your purpose of living a life that allows you to bring healing to people is an achievement. It’s also enough to motivate you because you can ask yourself, “What else can I do to live into this purpose?”
A lot of people want something and so they set a goal to achieve that. They live life trying to achieve a goal for a momentary high to start all over again. Then there are people who have a bigger purpose, something that they can never ultimately achieve. But every day they can pursue that purpose making the lives of people better day by day. They get to enjoy the daily pursuit of that purpose.
Drop the Stress of Traditional Goals
Why spend most of your life feeling like your short of your goal? And if you reach your goal you feel good for a short time but then you have to set another goal and always feel like your short of that goal until you achieve it. I don’t know about you but for me, that process just wore me out.
For me, I like having the purpose of helping people live a more fulfilled life. There are lots of ways that I can work on that every single day. It can be as simple as smiling at a stranger while I’m shopping. I can participate in that purpose when I read a book to my daughter. As I’m writing this article I’m participating in that purpose. For me, living life under the umbrella of a big purpose is freeing fun and motivating.
If you’re struggling to see how you’d be motivated without goals in the traditional sense all I can say is try it. I find it very motivating because it helps me focus and make choices in virtually everything I choose.
If you’d like to think more about living life with a big purpose I suggest reading the book, “A Purposeful Life“. You just might be able to live a more fulfilled life by adopting a new perspective that doesn’t involve goals as you traditionally thought of them.
Disclosure: Book link is an affiliate link.
Photo Credit: A compass is a great way to help you stay on track. A purpose also guides you every step of the way. Thanks for the visual, Jamie Street