The Introspective Life, I truly believe that goal driven people are unhappy compared to people with no goals.
Many of you know I am recovering alcoholic, staying sober is easy enough, all I need to do is avoid becoming involved in crazy behavior. The label for this crazy behavior is accomplished by using the word,
Why? Because crazy behavior does not function.
People Driven to Accomplish Goals are Unhappy.
My guesstimate is, 1 in 50 goal driven person is happy.
My guesstimate is, about 1 in 10 is content when they have no goal.
Not having goals is a functional decision to make.
I guess I must say, one goal in life is needed, and I think it should be the priority of any human on planet earth, that goal is, to be happy. Well, after living my life for 56 years, visiting 90 countries and wandering the planet for 14 continuous years. I am 100 percent sure the people in Developed Countries like the USA, Europe, Australia and Japan are both very goal orientated and unhappy compared rest of the planet.
Roughly 15-20 percent of the planet is what I call “over-developed,” it is not fair to call the other 80-85 percent underdeveloped when in reality they are the normal people and countries.
The Three Options for Goals
1. To not have any goals.
2. To have goals for everything.
3. To not have any goals, but have some dream ideas, work on them in a completely non-prioritized way and if by random chance, some are achieve, then to be happy. But if they do not, then in many ways, I would celebrate, because I did waste energy thinking about stupid crap.
I am 99 percent sure, that nobody will care anything about me when I die, which makes the idea of accomplishing something rather moot.
Bottom line, do nothing as best you can, avoid the crazy and unhappy people with grimaces on their face who want to change the world, and enjoy life today.
Again, if I avoid the crazies, spend my time listening to people with no goals, then I am immensely happier on a daily basis.
Andy as usual you verbalized things that I cannot. I have never, ever heard such a concise well thought out commentary. Deep in my heart I have always known this. I am so relieved to see it condensed, verbalized, and validated. I try to be one of these people who do not endlessly live in the future and count their days fulfilling goals. At times it has led to a lot of unhappiness in my life. Now I try to just live day to day and enjoy every day.
It is so funny that we seem to cherish and fantasize about vacationing in the South Pacific Islands. We go there to get away from the goal oriented insanity that we leave behind for a week or two. And we wish deep down that we were not endlessly caught up in the goal oriented life. And most of us do not realize that the goal to be happy when we attain the ultimate goal is in itself a non attainable fantasy. Ask me how I know.
I have spent a lifetime learning the lesson that you put down on one page. Thanks so much.
I have been reading the book about Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It seems to me Steve Jobs was brillant but he was a controlling, rude, mean person that always had a goal in mind and was very driven by what ever thing he was working on at that time. He did not seem happy at all to me just a man willing to con other people into doing what he wanted in order to reach his particular goal at a certain time. I realize he accomplished great things but for sure I never would wish anyone I know or love to be like him.
you are a paradox.
you have accomplished more than most people will ever accomplish in their life time, without setting goals.
You see life from a unique perspect, because you have seen 90 countries, and this is no small thing. This is something of value. There will be people that base where they retire on your opinions, also where they vacation. Most people would not have the strength to do what you do. We cling to what is familiar and safe. I think most of us do enjoy adventure, but in small controllable portions. Maybe you should give yourself more credit. I am sure many people would miss you when you are gone. You are never boring.
Prioritization, the need to prioritize works against my goal of being happy. Therefore I work on things in non-prioritizes ways, going to 90 countires was an absolute wanderlust, the needed aspect was the money. If a person made their goal to do nothing all day, in way they would get more done.
I do not give a shit about accomplishments --- that is the point of this missive, only when you realize a goal or accomplishment is fools goal, can you focus on true happiness. American are driven to be miserable, I was one of them, the greatest thing I did in my life is to stop being part of this crazy culture. The mantra of America is about doing something, they continue ask, "What have you done?" It just is not important, what is important, is am I happy today. Listening to goal orientated people i a great way to make me feel guilty and miserable.
I think that one of the biggest reasons so many people are miserable, and unhappy is the culture of success. In the united states, success is money and power. And lots of people get herded into this mentality by the public media and giant corporations. All you see on tv is adds that talk about gold credit cards and being ceo of a large corporation.
I suspect that a lot of the more sane people who get sucked into this abyss by the media regret having wasted their lives. And you only have one life to live.
I try to just live one day at a time and be as happy as possible.
Well said again. Mostly all of those that I met who are/were goal orientated looked good, smelled good, were broke, and unhappy."
I've tried setting goals and being unhappy,didn't like it so now I do happy by being happy. People ask me why are you so happy, and I answer because I am. And then I add if I don't like being happy I can always go back to being unhappy.
The secret to be being happy is like the secret to breathing - just do it or suffocate.