All throughout my skating career we set goals. Our calendar and moods were set upon making and completing our goals. And, we got to be really good at it. Except there was a problem, when the goals ran out, or when the season ended, we were always in a lull. And, this lull was not just an energetic one, but also, a lull in accepting. Retired now, one thing I’ve come to recognize is that feeding into a goal schema mode of living feeds an externalized metric of conditional worth, which is both unsustainable and unkind. While goals might seem good, a life driven from an internal practice of compassion is much better!
Here Are Three Reasons Why Goals (Sometimes) Stink:
1) Goals Invite You To Measure Your Worth Based On Your Success Or Some External Gauge
We all know the surge of excitement we feel when we accomplish a goal. But, what happens when the goal falls away? What happens if life intercedes with the timeline for your goal? Every time we set ourselves up in an equation of goal (accomplishment) = happiness / worth we do ourselves the disservice of sinking into the momentary value of daily existence. You are great no matter what you do or accomplish. Do not let a goal trick your mind away from accepting that.
2) Goals Beget More Goals
Because of the cyclical nature of the goal-driven life, setting goals instigates a pattern of goal-work-(lack of) accomplishment-goal. And, while exciting at times, this is also ehausting. It is hard and unhealthy to gauge your self-image based on what you do. And, while goal setting no way implies ‘you are worth your goals’, the cyclical nature of goals creates an energy that internal agency seldom feeds on. Goals fuel goals not self-acceptance.
3) Goals Are Strictly Future-Oriented
Every time we plan for ‘someday’ we are taking ourselves away from today. And, at the risk of sounding cliché, today is what we’ve got. There is no problem with looking ahead, but living ahead is worrisome. Live now. Love now. You’ll be amazed at how sweetly tomorrow turns out.