Do You Have To Have Goals In Life?
Do goals push you forward or hold you back?
For the most part, if you ask people what they are most afraid of, many will probably say death.
But that's not the case for everyone. Tell us if you've ever had this conversation:
Goals, the dreaded "G-word," are supposed to help us perform at our best and enrich our lives, whether the aim is to be rich and famous, married with children, head of a Fortune 500 company or out of our mother's house before an embarrassing age.
But what if you're like our dead-eyed, sarcastic friend Daria in the clip above? What if you don't have any goals? Is your life doomed? Some seem to think so.
Georgia Public Broadcasting columnist Brandon Smith's piece, "I Don't Have Any Goals," explicitly states why not having goals leads to a life of failure.
In his column he says, "Goals serve a very important role. They give us a direction. They provide the tip of our spear as we move forward personally and professionally. They paint a picture of the world we are trying to create. Without goals we are just taking action without a clear expectation or vision of where we want to be and the life we want."
Smith was writing in reaction to the latest trend of not setting goals. The consensus today is that life is too fast paced to bother with setting goals. Instead, we should ditch goals and just focus on putting ourselves in a position to be at the right place at the right time.
"Goals as a system are a set up for failure," says author Leo Babauta, one of the louder voices of the so-called no-goals movement. "When you don’t feel like doing something, you have to force yourself to do it. Your path is chosen, so you don’t have room to explore new territory. You have to follow the plan, even when you’re passionate about something else."
Even if you don't agree with Babuata, you don't have to equate not having big goals with being a slacker. There are actually communities of people who call themselves slackers but set what they call achievable goals. For instance, self-proclaimed slacker and blogger Willow Brook chronicled how she wanted to lose weight but was too lazy to do so.
"I know what I'm built for and what I can do so I had to be real with myself," she says. So instead of setting lofty expectations like losing a bunch of weight, she simply told herself that she would eat less. Because of that, she wound up losing the weight that she wanted.
"I set short term-goals, more like projects than anything," adds photographer Proph Bundy, 27, of Atlanta.
It is understood that creating small projects for yourself does set better goal-setting habits. Setting up short-term goals throughout the year usually turns into a larger goal being accomplished.
But what if you don't even want to do that much? Can you still live a "productive" life?
"I've never set a goal in my life, and I'm fine with that," says Terrance Persons, 29, a full-time employee for Fulton County, Georgia's tax commissioner's office. "I just do what I'm supposed to do. I work, pay my bills and stay out of trouble. I think I'm doing a lot better off right now than the kids I went to school with that had goals, honestly."
Wonder if they've wound up like that 40-year old Daria was afraid of becoming.