I’m not a goal-oriented person. Rather, I take things as they come and contentedly watch as my life unfolds before me. I try to set goals from time-to-time, but they’re more like bucket list items that I don’t keep track of in any way whatsoever. However, the idea of setting goals has been brought to my attention multiple times recently, and it’s gotten me thinking.
Goals have never really been something I’ve understood. Before you bombard me with how important it is to have goals, let me just say that I get there are benefits to them. I’ve heard it all before; goals give us direction and purpose and whatnot. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but what if someone is really bad at setting and following through on goals? Does that mean they’ll never accomplish anything?
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A Strange Life Goal
For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with the concept of goals. As a child, my only true goal was to be an adult. I wanted nothing more than to take care of myself and be on my own. Oh, how I longed to have my own house where I could cook for myself and do my own cleaning. I thought it would be so wonderful to be able to go anywhere and do as I please. Clearly, I had a very delusional idea of adulthood.
Well, I managed to achieve my goal of becoming an adult – at least in terms of age – but that left me with nowhere to go. The biggest dilemma in my experience of adulthood has been not knowing what to do next. I logically know that I should set new goals and work to accomplish them, but I can’t seem to wrap my mind around this concept. My other option is to take it one day at a time and just hope things work themselves out.
I’ve chosen the latter approach, and while it may seem to an outsider that I’m aimlessly wandering while desperately searching for my life’s purpose, I’m actually quite happy with the way things have played out thus far. Despite having zero direction, I’ve managed to lead a generally fulfilling life. I’ve done a lot, seen a lot, and learned a lot over the years. My life has been one big adventure, and I like it that way.
Now, I’m not saying everything has been sunshine and daisies. I’ve certainly had my share of struggles and made plenty of stupid decisions, but I’ve tried to use those experiences to grow and better understand the world around me. It hasn’t always been easy, but if I’ve learned anything, it’s that life isn’t always easy. Frankly, if it were, I think I’d get bored. Unpredictability keeps things interesting. Not to mention, it keeps me from being overly impulsive because I don’t feel a constant need to shake things up.
The Future is Now
Not everyone can handle unpredictability, however. While some people thrive on it, others panic and shut down. Many people need goals in order to function on a daily basis, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Goals give people something to work toward and provide accountability. At least, that’s what I’ve always been taught.
I won’t make the argument that goals don’t do what people have claimed for years, but I will argue that it doesn’t apply to everyone. I’ve tried many times to set goals and share them with others in the hope that it will hold me more accountable. It never seems to work though. Rather, I find ways to justify not accomplishing what I intended to accomplish and end up either changing the goal or scratching it entirely.
As for having something to work toward, I’ve never really been one to worry about the future. There’s plenty to think about in the present, and things generally work themselves out. I plan things out to an extent, but I don’t put much stock in these plans. I also try not to get upset when I fail to reach a goal or plans I’ve made fall through. In fact, I usually expect something along those lines to happen.
Living My Dream
Some equate my lack of goals to a lack of ambition or drive. Others say I’m lacking direction and still trying to figure out what to do with my life. I think it’s simpler than that – I don’t care all that much about goals. I enjoy variation, and I like being surprised by what comes my way. Goals might be great for other people, but they don’t work for me.
At this point, my main goal in life is to experience as much as I can. For me, the best way to accomplish this is by simply living and taking things one day at a time. I could sit down and map out my future, but my “fly by the seat of my pants” tendency has worked out well enough so far that I don’t feel inclined to do so. I’ll save my goal setting for another day.