When we think of goals, we often think of edgy action words, like “drive” or “achieve,” “success” or “pressure.” Not relaxation. But think again….
Every day we need to make many choices, and these choices can be excruciating without some sense of where we’re going. Without clear goals, each decision becomes an invitation for waffling. Here or there? Now or later? Like my cat, who has to stop and consider every time we hold the door open for her, we hem and haw, uncertain whether to stay in or go out.
A goal, in one fell swoop, can make a slew of choices easy and straightforward. With our direction set, we can relax! Paradoxically, we can focus more readily on what is happening now: when we know the directions by heart, we can pay attention to the road. We don’t need to second-guess ourselves or dissipate our attention wondering whether we should be someplace else.
What are your most cherished goals? What steps can you settle into today?
“The proper role of goals is to liberate us, so that we can enjoy the here and now. … The primary purpose of having a goal — a future purpose — is to enhance enjoyment of the present.”
Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., Happier (McGraw-Hill, 2007), p. 70.