I completely agree that this cultural idea that says everyone should constantly be after a whole laundry list of “goals”, which themselves require you to do a million other things along the way (which may in turn, have even more of their own prerequisite tasks, and so on, and so forth, in an infinitely recursive sequence), is deeply flawed.
The whole thing feels like it started as a bid to increase profits and production back during the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century, which later developed into the pyramid scheme-like configuration we’re now familiar with once everyone thoroughly bought into that mentality by the beginning of the 20th century. Now society wants us to constantly meet some arbitrary quota of “productivity” and promises “fulfillment” that may or may not actually come in return. None of this is ever really questioned or challenged by the vast majority of people because the idea is now so deeply ingrained in the culture.
No matter how much society tells us we’ve achieved based on this system, the truth is that fulfillment or meaning can only come from within, and never from without. We need to escape these outdated modes of thinking as they become increasingly obsolete. They’ve served their purpose and need to be retired at this point.