The Real Reason To Set Goals
When I was living on less than $1 per day in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I added an adventure to my ‘bucket list’. I wanted to live like a cowboy in Mexico. I wanted to ride horses, sleep under the stars, cook over a fire, and see some beautiful countryside.
Last week I completed that goal, and it was pretty much just as I imagined it would be.
Living on a ranch near Oaxaca, I learned how to saddle a horse correctly and get up to a gallop without using my hands to stabilize myself. Each night I build a campfire (fanning the flames to life with my ’10-gallon’ hat) and slept 20 feet away from the horses.
It really was an adventure.
I’ve Seen A Pattern…
This isn’t the first goal I’ve set for myself.
I wanted to go sailing in Asia and found myself scooting between islands in the Philippines.
I wanted to ride motorcycles through the countryside and made it happen.
Hell, my entire time in Asia was the living out of a dream.
I’ve set non-adventure goals as well, like 3 years ago when I decided I wanted to have a net worth of over $10,000, or last year when I wanted to crush my sales quota.
Every time I live out or complete a goal…
… I realize the same thing again and again. The goal itself was never what was important. The goal doesn’t really matter.
All that matters in the end is ‘you’. Completing the goal doesn’t make you feel good. In fact, if you expect the achievement to bring about a long-term euphoric state you can feel surprisingly empty when you realize it isn’t coming.
Reaching goals makes you feel good mainly because you feel like the kind of person who sets goals and achieves them.
Riding horses is just riding horses. It’s not euphoria, and sometimes you get sore if you’ve been riding for more than 4 hours.
Traveling to Asia just means looking at temples, eating more noodles than usual, and putting yourself at risk of getting food poisoning.
Those things aren’t what matter. What matters is being the kind of person who says ‘I want to go to Asia’ or ‘I want to ride horses in Mexico’ or ‘I want to own $10,000’ and making it happen.
By setting goals or planning adventures and turning them into reality, you are stating ‘I am in control of my life.’ You’re showing yourself ‘I am free.’ It feels good to be free and have control of your life (imagine the opposite, feeling out of control and trapped) and by setting and achieving goals you convince yourself that it’s true.
Complete enough goals and you feel like you can do anything you set your mind to. That is the freedom mindset. That is the abundance mindset. That mindset is calm, confident, courageous, and powerful.
By being free and having control, you become the ‘master of your fate, the captain of your soul’ (Henley). I believe it goes a step further than ‘master’ or ‘captain’. You become the God in your own life. You have said “let there be light” so many times and seen it happen before your very eyes.
“Your will be done.”
When you are God, you are powerful. You are also safe from normal day-to-day worries. You can be creative, express yourself, and live fully without fear. That’s the kind of life we want to live, and that’s what it means to be the God in your own life.
Climbing mountains, building financial fortunes, going to the Moon, and riding horses in Mexico are all just means to an end. That end is a feeling. That end is a state of mind.
The real goal is to feel like a different you; the you that is in control, the you that is free, the you that is powerful… the God in your own life.
Connect with me on Twitter @Nico Jannasch or send me a direct message.