Ah yes, our rudimentary and misleading “goals” list.
I mean, we really really thought about it, wrote it down, and even made a vision board out of pictures and trite, ambiguous phrases we clipped out of magazines like “Boss” and “Shine Bright”.
Therefore, the visions of our goals must 1. Be true and 2. Come true. And if they don’t come to fruition? Well, as society would tell us- It’s because we didn’t try hard enough. We didn’t grind enough. Try again next year.
Well, society is wrong.
Unless you are indeed doing nothing but sitting around eating sourdough bread and BBQ Kettle Chips all day, delusionally fantasizing but not exerting any sort of energy making attempts. Then you need to put down the bread and chips, go look up the nearest Ayahuasca retreat, and report back to me in a few weeks after your existential epiphany.
But that’s not you, so society is wrong.
What if I were to tell you that you don’t actually want any of those things?
Well…You don’t actually want any of those things.
What you want are the feelings associated with having those things.
What if I were to tell you that you could have those feelings right now, without actually having any of those things?
Well… You can have those feelings right now without actually having any of those things.
…Our goals are a state of mind.
Again, you’re not looking for items, you’re looking for feelings. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it one million times: Everyone’s ultimate goal is to feel good.
You want the fancy car because you think it will make you feel a certain way (cool, respected, happy, admired, etc). And maybe having it does help you achieve those feelings…. Temporarily. But what I’m saying is, it’s absolutely not necessary. And in most cases, it actually doesn’t help you achieve those genuine feelings at all. Because you realize it’s a quick fleeting pleasure placeholder of what you really wanted all along. Perhaps you want a nice car because you want to feel accomplished. Or admired. Or special and unique. Or, or, or. Ego. And yes, to a much lesser degree, it can be more comfortable and luxurious. But again, that’s to a much lesser degree.
You’re Probably Admiring the Wrong People
You probably want all of the aforementioned “goals” above because you think they will provide you with those much sought after feelings. Not only are you most likely wrong but that tells me that you’re probably also admiring the wrong people. And that you may be striving to be admired for the wrong reasons.
Admiring people based on what they have vs who they are has always been a strange concept to me. Most of the time, you’re assumptions go something like this: “Wow you have X, so you must be all of these great things that I admire and desire!”-ie respectable, hardworking, accomplished, whatever, fill the blank. Yet, you don’t actually know if that person is any of those things. Maybe their perverted sugar mama/daddy bought them their car only after they compromised their morals and values. Maybe they paid for all of their followers on social media or are famous by some pathetic means like having a huge fake butt or slurring the words “Gucci Gang” 800 times over a catchy beat. Or maybe they made a bunch of money off of screwing over the have-nots.
Let’s admire people and things that are actually worth admiring. Like someone who had to face extreme adversity to become the generous, compassionate, accomplished, righteous and honest individual they are. Or even someone who didn’t have to face adversity at all, but is still all of those things. Or someone who dedicated their life to the greater good, fighting the good political fight to help those who can’t help themselves. Or someone who devoted years to discovering a cure for a serious ailment or who volunteered countless hours at a homeless shelter. Or even simply a well-balanced person. Altruism. Authenticity. Courage. Unconditional love.
You Can Still Strive For That Porsche, Just Feel Good About Doing It
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have those goals per se. I’m just saying, you can already have the badass feelings that you want right now, while you’re on the path of attainment. You can simultaneously be content while having the desire for more. Why do you think all of the research that has been done indicates that those who are happiest, are, in fact, those who appear to have the least?
Yeah, casually ghost riding your white Porsche Cayenne up and down Rodeo would be dope. And having a bunch of random guidos follow you on social media, hyping you up every time you post a painfully hackneyed salad picture geo-tagging @WholeFoods or having basic social climbing gremlins slide into your DM, would be flattering. And yeah, having a crazy sick pad in Newps with 500k to blow on nothing but bourgie summer pool parties, fresh business attire/street gear (so people know you’re wealthy and important), and overpriced waterfront dining experiences- you know the ones with insultingly small portion sizes (but you’re totally not insulted because you’re a rich person now and this is how they eat).. Would be kind of epic. Also pretty pathetic if it’s anything other than supplemental and a side dish alongside something deeper. You need to have something more meaningful guiding you, like the contribution to something greater than yourself.
Not a List but a Diagram
If we were being honest, our goals list would look more like a diagram. Each one would be relatively different because we all have unique desires, goals, values and definitions of such. The one universal thing, would be the center. Which would be a circle with two words: Good feelings. All of the other desires and associated subgoals would flare out from there: Porsche, mansion, name brand handbag, infinity pool, Yeezy’s, Love, companionship, Financial security, etc. Then we could continue to flare out and create more subcategories/subgoals etc but I’m just keeping it simple for the sake of example.
No, I don’t make diagrams for a living. Yes, I know you’re surprised.
All of that being said, humans are complex so we can guess why people want things but we may never be right. What I do know, again, is that everyone wants to feel good. That is at the epicenter of everything. All other desires radiate out from that.
Okay, so how do we feel good, right now?
All of my research and anecdotal experience points to these 6 things:
- Gratitude – Recitation of affirmations. Being grateful and appreciative.
- Contribution to Something Greater Than Yourself – Global community, society, spirituality, values
- Mindfulness – Meditation. Consciousness. Being present.
- Knowing Yourself – Identifying your authentic values, purpose, and worth
- Challenge – Keeping your mind and body active. Exceeding your own expectations.
- Interdependence/Companionship – Feeling Love. Giving love. Spending time with interesting people.
I’m pretty sure we only have one human episode of consciousness like this, so, you might as well spend your time enjoying it.
That means you better whip around in that paint-peeling, side mirror taped on having, hoopty-doopty tin can of a car you drive, like you’re the goddamn Perrier of carbonated waters that you are! It is your personal right and duty to feel good. And you better not allow anyone the power or authority to take that from you. Ever.