Well-Being//

Why Your Goals May Be Distracting You From Ultimate Happiness

If your time is cut short, would you be able to say that you lived a successful life?

“Your audacious life goals are fabulous. We’re proud of you for having them. But it’s possible that those goals are designed to distract you from the thing that’s really frightening you — the shift in daily habits that would mean a re–invention of how you see yourself.” – Seth Godin

I was recently reflecting on what success looks like in my life. If I were to die in a week, a year, or a few decades, what would it take for me to be able to say, “Well, I did it — I accomplished everything I wanted. I lived a successful life.”

In considering this question, I realized that there is nothing particular I feel I need to achieve or complete. There are just ways in which I want to live.

I want to live with honesty, with health, with love, and with generosity. I want to have spent meaningful time with the people I care most about.

None of these are things I could earn or buy, they are only things I can do — and things I need to keep doing.

None are the types of things I can cross off a list and be done with — they are ongoing ways of being.

An outlook, an attitude, a habit — a way of life.

So when it comes to goals, I realized that it’s important not just to think about what I want to achieve, but also to think about how I want to live.

This month’s Intention Guide was designed to facilitate reflection on the role of habits and goals in your life, with a framework for helping you reflect on what goals are right for your definition of success.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.