There was a time in my life when my actions did not align with my life goals. I was very unhappy, even depressed at times. I think many people can relate to a certain feeling; the feeling of spinning your wheels; the feeling of not accomplishing what you really want or what makes you happy, even though you are doing “something” (or at least feel like you are).
Many go through long periods of time not making progress and in the state of boredom before figuring out the root cause. I was fortunate enough to discover that the misalignment of my actions with my goals was the sole source of my unhappiness. This is often the same source of unhappiness for many others as well.
The title of this post is meant to stimulate thought regarding our own personal life goals and priorities that are unique to us. It is my hope that even if you did not read a single word beyond the title, the title itself had made you think about what is really important to you.
And that is the first step in getting rid of our unhappiness, realizing what our goals and priorities are. But for many of us, it is not that we do not know what we want. As mentioned earlier, the misalignment of our actions and goals is a source of unhappiness. A quote that I always strive to live by:
“Live your life in accordance with your ideals.”
And that is typically the most difficult part of life is it not? Personally, the discipline to do what I know is good for me does not come easy. That is why the two questions making up the title is so important.
Reasons to Ask Yourself
So what do the answers to those questions do for us? For one, it helps those without any direction or drive to think about what makes life worth living to them. If this is the stage you are at, it is crucial that that you DO NOT compare yourself to anyone else. Your goals and what you want to do is specific to you and you only, no one else.
Sure, some of us may have goals that are similar, but the meaning behind it is entirely unique to us as individuals. People who share the same goals in very different situations can have dramatically different method of achieving their dreams. This is vital to keep in mind.
“some… have goals that are similar, but the meaning… is entirely unique to us as individuals”
Another reason to consider those two questions involves losing track of our path in our pursuit. Distractions or discouragement that we encounter throughout life can easily sideline us from our course; sometimes without us evening knowing it. Ever heard of the saying “Begin with an error of an inch and end by being a thousand miles off the mark”? It is easy to get distracted with minute details, even if it relates to what we are doing.
For example, an athlete has the goal to improve his performance (what athlete does not?). He knows that training and resting is the primary way to get there. However, he gets caught up in the types of supplements to take.
He ends up cutting out some of his training and rest time to study up on what supplements work best for specific activities. (I will go over my thoughts on supplementation and its proper place in an athlete’s life in a later post).
While supplements are a good thing, it is called supplements for a reason. It is not the bulk or the “meats and potatoes” of what makes a great athlete. So this distraction ends up hindering the athlete’s progression, or possibly even caused him to lose progress.
The athlete may be frustrated that he is not performing like he was before. By reassessing his goals and actions, he can see that he has been sacrificing time used for important things like training for the secondary pursuit of finding the best supplement. Thus, he can realign his actions to match his goals.
This is possibly the easiest way (that I am aware of) to make sure we are on the right track to accomplish what we want in life. Not only does it take a few seconds to do (or a few minutes if you are like me and like to ponder over different aspects), it may even help us discover new goals or interests that we may have.
Also, different ways of accomplishing those goals would come to us effortlessly as we repeat this exercise.
So I ask you again:
“What are your goals and priorities? What are your actions?”