Side Effects of Living a Goal-Oriented Lifestyle

Ansh Mehra
Apr 27, 2019 · 4 min read

When I was a fresher in college, every one used to talk about their dreams and goals. Most of these goals were to get a job that pays them good money. There was one who’s goal was to get a girlfriend, some wanted to lose weight and some just didn’t want anything!

It is easy to get intimidated by other people’s progress and goals. You ask yourself “what am I chasing? shouldn’t I also dream of something this passionately? why am I so chill?” and eventually set up a dream. You take this goal and try your best to achieve it. You work super hard, avoid bad habits, say no to things that felt more fun and even broke a lot of relationships.

You have been working for quite some time, not feeling comfortable unless you achieve that goal, doing everything you can because once you do, you know that your life is going to be perfect. The final day comes and woohoo! you achieve it! Yes! You are finally what you dreamt of!

Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

Everyone is talking about you, you are getting twice more likes on your posts, the prettiest girl on campus just followed you on Instagram and people look up to you! You aren’t arrogant about it because you know how much you’ve worked for it.

Time goes by and slowly slowly your rush begins to fade away. Everyone still respects you but you feel like something is missing. “Why is this not feeling the way I thought it would?” “Why is this job not as exciting as I wanted it to be?” “Why is this car not giving me the same amount of happiness it did a year ago?” The truth is that with time, you begin to get bored of your own assumed end goals and start to feel low because there is nothing new to chase. You were extremely happy for some moments after achieving your goal but now it’s all gone.

Photo by Inactive. on Unsplash

What if instead of winning, you fail. It happens quite often. You thought you’d get it but you didn’t and now you feel even worse than the guy who’s bored of his achievement.

We all commit the mistake of giving ourselves a precondition before it can feel truly happy.

We delay our happiness and comfort until we achieve our goals. This is a fascinating behaviour because nobody ever said that happiness reduces your chance of winning. You can be happy and work hard at the same time. Yet most of us avoid feeling happy and joyful unless we get a certain commodity. This is a flawed way of living because you can never be happy if your happiness depends on exterior circumstances.

There is nothing wrong with being ambitious. I used to live by goals too, make a list of all my dreams until I realised that the word ‘dream’ or ‘goal’ makes our aim as a life goal.

A goal once missed is missed forever and a dream once broken can never be relived.

Therefore, instead of making your aims as end goals, consider them as a milestones because milestones are not missed, they are only delayed. Milestones never end, they just keep on going as you move ahead on a straight road. There is no highest level of achievement on this planet, the ladder just keeps going on and on. If you delay your happiness and joy to an end goal, you’ll always keep yourself in a chase of something that doesn’t exist.

Therefore, stop living a goal oriented life and begin to see your ambitions as milestones. This is an important perspective because if you live your life just to achieve that one goal, you’ll be out of joy once you achieve it because you wouldn’t have anything else to look forward to. If you do not achieve it, it’ll hamper your confidence forever.

Ansh Mehra

Written by

UX Designer, Podcaster and Filmmaker

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