In the Now #008 – Letting Go of Goals


(excuse the lack of grammar, this is a direct and auto-generated transcript)

So I was at my friend’s 40th birthday and he said something really interesting to me.

He said if my 16 year old self could see where I am now and see the way that I live now he’d be completely blown away.

And I thought about this for myself in the same is true for me the 16 year old.. my 16 year old self would never have imagined that life could be the way it is today.

But also what’s interesting is that my 16 year old self would probably never wish for what I want today and what I have today in my life. I had completely different intentions completely different goals in a completely different vision for where I was going at 16,
which is probably true for all of us.

But then I started thinking well, where did I, you know, what were my goals when I was 25
or wher were my goals when I was 30? The same is true that at each stage of my life. I had an idea of what I thought was important to me and an idea of how life worked, an idea of who I was you know as a human being and I had an understanding and at each stage
it was getting a bit broader and a bit deeper.

But when I think even five years ago think back to myself 5 years ago, I had a completely different set of goals, a completely different understanding of what it meant to live a good life.

And that really every couple of years I am changing, I am expanding, and along with that my goals, my values, my purpose, all the kind of core aspects of who I am and what I’m doing in this world change.

So it’s completely shifted the way I think about goal setting these days because we’re sort of like we’re in this goal obsessed society, right? We’re always expected to be talking about where we’re going to be in five years. We’re often talking about ourselves in the future tense rather than the current tense and and that’s in some cases.. in some ways
that can be good because it’s moving us towards continual improvement in our lives,
which I think is awesome and you know, highly rewarding in some ways.

But I’ve stopped attaching myself to 5 year goals. And even when I set say a 2 year goal, I hold it very loosely because I know that by the time two years from now arrives I will have changed. My understanding of life will have changed. My perception of reality will have changed. And all of the new information, the new knowledge that I’ve gained will shift way I think about life and what’s important to me.

And so I think of goals, you know, I might set a goal a couple of years out. But what I try to do now is constantly re-evaluate what my goals are based on, my current understanding of life my current understanding of myself and what’s important to me and what my values are. And continually shift what my goals are and don’t stay attached to them.

You see it like our ego gets really attached to goals because we say it to people we say, “oh in five years I’m going to have this degree” or “I’m going to have this job” or “I’m going to be living in this place.” And so we feel like we have to live up to something we’ve said to others.

But if we get too attached to where we’re going and where we expect to be or where we say
we’re going to be, we often end up somewhere that we don’t actually want to be by the time we get there.

So if we’re not constantly re-evaluating who we are and what’s important to us and what our values are in the present moment and adjusting our accordingly it’s easy to get off track. Even though we’re moving forward or moving towards what we think our goals are.

So I guess these days I just really try to think more about the way I show up each day
and each week. I think very short term in terms of what what are my what is my approach to life? What are the processes? What is my what are the systems that I have in my life to stay grounded in the present moment – stay grounded to what’s important to me now based on my current understanding? And to constantly be navigating my direction based on that.

So, anyone who knows me knows I’m constantly thinking about all these different things I want to do in my life, things are want to explore.. and they also know that when they see me a year later, often, I’ve radically shifted that that goal that I told told somebody a year ago.
It just isn’t relevant for me anymore. And I just see that as a continual expansion of my understanding of life, and continually re-assessing where I want to go based on my current understanding and that’s really it.

And so all I really have to say today I guess is that I don’t really think we should be getting too attached to any future outcome. And focus more on our process, on our appreciation, on the current state that we’re in and how we are applying ourselves in the present moment.

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