Goals are a pain.
If you have goals (fitness goals, financial goals, career goals, or impact goals) and achieve them, you’ll be happy for a while, until you get used to it. Then you’ll set a new one and you’re back at a state of dissatisfaction.
Conversely, if you don’t have a goal, you can just do your best. You can take what comes. You can reprioritize on a regular basis. You never have to worry about missing it.
Not having a goal lets you have more fun, or spend time doing what matters right now, which is, after all, the moment in which you are living.
Living without goals is a lot more fun, in the short run.
And as James Clear points out, it’s really systems and habits that help us achieve our goals anyway.
But guess what, it’s also goals that give meaning to systems and habits. Goal sets the destination. The goals of health, financial resilience, peace of mind or a house full of love. Those are goals.
In fact, goals and happiness are not exclusive. It can add to happiness. One trick is simply to prevent negative self-talk and see failure as learning opportunities. Creating a practice of self-acceptance (while striving for goals).
The way I see it, there are 2 options. One option is to set meaningful goals, get more tension, achieve them (or maybe not), and die. The other option is to go with the flow, achieve what you achieve, and die.
It seems to me, though, that the people who are doing work they are proud of, who lead, and who make an impact (and have fun)… those people have goals.
[Ali Abdaal video on goals inspired this post]