Why you need #goals.

    You probably heard successful people say how important it was for them to have goals. But we all about truth here and it doesn't matter who says it. It matters what the brain says. And it says that it is even more important than you realize! The truth is that goal directed behavior is the central function you brain and body evolved to serve. Having goals to orient your life towards are an absolute must! This does not mean you are dictating everything. This means you have direction that allows you to ensure steady progress overtime. 

     Our perception of the environment is done in relationship to what you are trying to what you are trying to accomplish at that particular moment in time and space. For example, if do not understand why school matters, your experience is one in which you are surrounded by things that you do not care about. It may seem as if you are just sitting there waiting for day to be done. If understand why school will help set you up for opportunities in the future, you will see information to learn in the book in front of you, tomorrows assignment on the board, and be thinking about when you will make time to study for your upcoming test. Another example would be of when you are sitting in your room and then decide to go to the store, the room suddenly becomes a place that your keys are lost inside. Moments. before, reading something on your computer and then it all changed as a result of the goal to go the store. Everything about perception works on the principle of tools to help achieve a goal and obstacles that can get in the way. 

    Without goals you are in a passive and uncertain stagnation. This leads to depression and life circumstance controlling you, instead of you actively controlling them. That does not turn out well because the natural state chaos. That is, the natural tendency towards greater disorder in the absence of you brining order to it. The idea is normally applied to the description of energy moving greater ordered to lesser ordered states, but it also applies life. 

The reason for positive and negative emotion is essentially to let you know if what is occurring is moving towards something desirable or not. If you do not know what you are doing, then your anxious. Fundamentally, the environment consists of objects that are obstacles to goals or tools to help you move closer to them. All organisms have basic surivival and reproduction goals, but humans go beyond those basics.  As humans we, we have this desire for meaning, purpose, and self-actualization. Those must be considered when setting the direction to take your life. You want push forward and make a difference in the world in order to feel a more resilient sense of positive emotion. Instant gratification and only material objects, do not provide meaning and purpose. That is why it is true that more money cannot make you happier. It can comfortably take care of basic needs, which is good, but meaning is needed to take challenges in stride. Life has periods of suffering no matter what. Purposeful goals are what allow you to not get resentful or two down because those periods then seem worth it from the big picture perspective.

    To recap: The biology of the body and brain ensure that not having a sense of direction and purpose in life will cause negative emotion like anxiety, feelings of depression, and make challenges seem much worse than they would otherwise. When there is nothing personally meaningful to work towards, the human brain is performing up to the capabilities to which it evolved. You might as well work towards achieving goals that push up against and beyond the frontiers of human achievement. That's what you evolved for and why humans keep progressing. You are not meant to passively experience the same things over and over. You are meant to learn and expand upon societal achievements.

    Also, you do not realize what you are capable of until after you start setting good goals and making plans to act them. When you do this, your brain will automatically kick in and start giving you ideas. Don't worry if you can't think of anything now. You will be surprised what you are capable of. You are adapted to your current environment. As you begin to take purposeful action you will notice new aspects of the world and come up with new ideas. That is you adapting to an environment in which you are actively seek ways to follow your purpose. When you get ideas and start acting on those, then you are off and running. You start making progress towards goals you had set, achieving them, feeling better, and getting increasingly good ideas. There is no magic pill for living a satisfying and meaningful life. We are biological creatures with exceptional skills at pushing into new frontiers of achievement. We are also kind of weak and vulnerable relative to big world around us. However, we are capable of a remarkable amount considering how entropy always trying to take things apart in your life. But when you are pushing yourself to grow as person while you work towards something meaningful, it actually feels pretty great. It will always suck sometimes, but it is all worth it then.

Life is about doing productive and meaningful that makes the world a better place. It is your choice.You have two options

1) you can work with your own biology and psychology by setting meaningful goals and working towards them. In addition to that, you make a positive impact on the people you come in contact with and improve the World for all. or 2) You don't set goals. You float through life with no clear direction (something that is sadly very common). You occasionally experience some good things, but overall you will feel negatively about your life because it seems out of control.



Ben ShelerComment