Do you live your life from one goal to the next? How often do you meet the expectations of the goals you actually set for yourself? Are you rigid in your mentality? Do you even want to achieve the goals you have identified for yourself and if you do, then why?

My buddy, James Altucher, (and I use the word buddy loosely, very loosely since we have never met nor have we conversed on any level but I feel I already know him through his podcast, The Altucher Show) in his commentary for Business Insider discusses how he rarely sets rigid goals for himself, rather he has prevailing themes in which he lives by. Themes such as: helping people, being healthy, etc. He reflects on the fact that when he did write down a goal for himself, he rarely ever achieved it. So it got me thinking…

With all my “to-do” lists and all my productivity hacks and visions and written goals…I actually have moved further away from those goals with each passing day. Maybe the sight of them has overwhelmed me…I have been feeling overwhelmed for a while. But then again when I set goals for myself in the past such as read 5 chapters of a specific book, I usually accomplish the task (or get pretty close to it). So which is it? Is goal setting actually counter-productive for us or are they what makes us stay productive? There’s evidence for both outcomes that I have seen in my own life. What about you?

I know I’m asking so many questions in this post but I really am asking myself these things in my head. Trying to sort through the contradicting colloquialisms and expressions that we take for granted and grounding them in reality. “Go with the flow” verses “believe it and achieve it” type things.

I guess it all depends on the type of goal you are setting for yourself. If it is something grand like generating $100 million a year from now (probably an easy task for the Zucks and Musks of the world) but to me and the everyday person this seems like a daunting task at the moment. If the goal is something as small as reading 5 chapters a day of some book…it may be a little bit more do-able as to not overwhelm you too much.

My advice would be to set small goals to accomplish everyday tasks, set themes for your life so you can live with integrity and purpose, and not to get overwhelmed by the stuff in between. Let yourself be open to the possibilities the world may present to you at random. I know for myself I couldn’t dream up being where I am today. I had no idea these opportunities would be presented to me at this point in my life. But maybe if I set some big goal for myself then I’d be purposefully moving towards it by now…it’s funny to think about but for myself I will continue to live and not try to make sense of the randomness that enters my life. I will continue to work everyday to get myself closer to certain goals I do have for myself, but I won’t be bogged down in the details. I will also continue to be open to the possibilities…

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