I remember this group of girls at my high school who seemed to want nothing more from life than to date a good-looking guy and win homecoming queen.
At least one of them got everything she ever wanted (only one person can win homecoming queen per year, yanno?).
But it never made much sense to me to shoot so low.
If goals are already within your reach, then what’s the point? Where is the meaning to be found from life?
Goals as a forcing function
Instead, I think it’s more useful to choose goals that force you to change.
Goals, by very definition, are about manifesting a different future state. But there’s a big difference between bringing about a future state that’s already a forgone conclusion and in manifesting something you’re not yet capable of creating.
Only chasing forgone conclusions snubs your own potential – your potential to become something more than you already are.
And goals that require you to cultivate that potential – to become who you are not yet but could be – those are the best kinds of goals.
Because it is the process of metamorphosis that enables us to reach new heights.
And we’re all equally free to pursue and prioritize the cultivation of our highest potentials. Even if it’s an unequal distribution in people who actually do that.
In other words, we all have the opportunity to manifest a better future than our present circumstances. If we really desire it, we have the option to escape the life we were born into, and to turn the hand we were dealt into a winning one.
The Cycle of Goals
The process of setting and working toward a goal has restorative and regenerative properties.
It’s half therapy and half fertilization.
The therapy part requires us to examine who we are – who we were in the past – and contrast that against an ideal future state.
The fertilization aspect takes the seed of an idea (our idyllic future) and grants it what it needs to grow – motivation, inspiration, resolve, a plan of action, etc.
In that sense, the undertaking of choosing a goal then moving toward it is a form of self-transformation.
It is the process of continuous evolution. Of correcting errors in your past by improving your behavior in the present, in pursuit of an further improvement still in the future.
And without a continuously ascending target above the horizon to aim at, then we’ll probably get everything we ever wanted.
Which means we probably aimed lower than our potential could have allowed. And I can hardly imagine a fate worse than that.