Switching Goals to Focus on What Will Bring Lasting Satisfaction
Switching goals may be important for you if your goals are focused on things that won't bring lasting satisfaction and happiness. How do you know if you should be switching goals?
I classify goals in two general categories: external accruals and inner development.
External Accrual Goals
This is a very broad generalization, but the main idea is a focus on rewards and gains from external sources. This category includes material goods- money, house, cars, etc, as well as other external rewards like recognition, power or respect.
Many things can interfere with your ability to get these things, and once achieved, they can easily be lost. There's nothing inherently wrong with wanting these things, but be careful making them your sole focus of your efforts.
The external things do not bring lasting happiness, and it is easy to fall into a spiral of needing more and more in order to feel good. The world is filled with unhappy people trying to get more stuff, thinking that just one more thing will finally make their life complete, only to be disappointed and left wanting more.
Inner Development Goals
This category of goals includes developing your character and internal abilities, and increasing your knowledge and understanding. This can include learning new things, improving your health, and developing character strengths like honesty, integrity, open mindedness, discipline, perseverance, etc.
Inner development requires you to really confront your fears, deal with your personal issues, and push yourself to reach your potential.
The thing about inner development is that it is hard. It doesn't just happen, there isn't a quick or easy solution that will lead to success in the area. It takes hard work, perseverance, and focus. But in the end it is the most worthwhile thing you can do.
The interesting thing is that switching goals to focus on those related to your inner development may actually bring the external rewards as a by product.
How To Set Inner Development Goals
Setting goals to focus on inner development involves long term thinking. Start by asking some basic questions about who you are and who you want to be:
- What kind of person do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
- What positive traits do you have that you'd like to strengthen?
- What abilities do you wish to develop?
- What things do you admire in others that you'd like to emulate in your own life?
Once you have an idea of what you want to accomplish, you need to create concrete strategies and plans for getting there. You also need to be willing to confront your personal issues and beliefs that may be holding you back. It requires a willingness to examine your current ideas and beliefs, and to be open to changing them.
Goal setting is an opportunity for you to decide what it is you want out of life. You are only limited by how high you set your goals, and what you decide to focus on.
Everyone has different values and desires for life, and I can't tell you what your goals should be. But I would strongly urge you to think about the ultimate direction and value of your goal.
In my opinion, switching goals to focus on your inner development is the only way to long lasting satisfaction and happiness, but it is also the more difficult path. Anything worthwhile in life will take work, but that is also where you will find the most fulfillment.
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