I’ve lived my entire life without goals. And for most of it, I felt slightly guilty about having no goals. Whenever I read or heard of people working hard and in a focused manner towards their goals, I wanted to imitate them. I made a Mission Statement – but it had no focus about what I wanted to achieve or ‘do’. Instead, I found myself focusing on what I wanted to ‘be’.
In recent years, I’ve learned to accept my lack of goals and not feel guilty about them. So when I read these lines from Louise Hay, I’m thrilled:
No. I don’t have goals. I never have had goals. For me, that is not what works. I just go along with life, knowing my life is wonderful and only good lies before me. So, what difference do goals make? – Louise Hay
I go ‘yes’! While there were years that I didn’t quite realize that my life was wonderful or believe that only good lay before me, I found it so hard to plan my future. Now I’ve started to truly believe that only good is in store for me. Yes, even on the days that good comes masquerading as discomfort, pain or hurt, I believe that everything works for the best.
All I have to do is focus on the moment and enjoy what I am doing in it.
I have seen people who have goals about their education, their career, the exact amount of money they want to have when they retire, etc. If that’s what works for them, then good luck to them. But when people attempt to apply goals to other areas of their lives – their relationships, their children’s future, their spirituality – I start to get uncomfortable.
I recall reading this story a while back:
A woman told Zen Master Suzuki Roshi she found it difficult to mix Zen practice with the demands of being a householder, “I feel I am trying to climb a ladder, but for every step upward I slip backward two steps.”
“Forget the ladder,” the Roshi told her, “when you awaken everything is right here on the ground.”
To me, goals are like ladders which I find hard to climb. So I stay on the ground, enjoying it, because everything is right here in this moment.
Are you a goal-setting type of person? Or does a life without goals appeal to you too?