avoid goals

Should We Avoid Goals in Life?

I’ve heard both thoughts:

Having goals in life is good (the common thought in America) and the other thought (having goals in life is bad, because it is anti-zen).

Some personal thoughts:

Goals are often dictated by society

The first thought:

A child doesn’t have ‘goals’ in life. This is something we are socialized into thinking is good.

For example, goals like going to college, obtaining a certain bodily physique, obtaining ‘financial freedom‘, traveling the world, etc.

So the first thought:

Ask yourself — are the life goal(s) you currently have truly your own, or that of societal expectations?

abstract Lamborghini

What if goals are holding you back?

Simple thought:

Once you achieve a certain life goal, it is pretty depressing.

For example, I obtained my life goals of traveling the world, becoming famous, buying a Leica, getting a 405+ deadlift, etc. The reason why goals hold you back:

A goal is too basic. We want to go *BEYOND* all goals, and to never have a ‘goal’.

Goals do not satisfy us

eyes crop selfie ERIC KIM

The fragile position of having goals:

When you haven’t achieved your goal (yet), you feel depressed or frustrated. And yet even if you achieve your goal, it is anti-climatic (the payoff isn’t as good as you expected it).

Then in this sense, it is best to *NOT* have a goal or any goals in life.

Then how should we orient our lives?

So the tricky thing:

If we do not posit ourselves any goals in life… then how do we live our lives?

Heraclitus says: “We should pass every day like it were our last.” Other philosophers have said something like, “Treat every single day as a full existence”.

I have followed this philosophy to the T, but found it to be a little foolhardy at times. Instead, I have found living by the week a little easier to orient myself. Why? There are nights I am going to get shitty sleep, which prevents myself from achieving my personal maximum every single day. And for myself, as long as I have 1 good day a week, I am happy.

Not Boring

All is in flux.

Furthermore, a thing:

Our desires and goals are always in a state of flux.

For example when I was a child, my goal was to become a scientist or an astronaut. Then when I was in high school it was to get into a good college. Then while in college, it was to get a good job. Then once you got the good job, it was to become ‘financially independent’. Then once I got financial independence, the goal was to explore philosophy and discover ‘true’ meaning in my life. Then once I realized what my mission in life was, then … what?

Fewer Choices, More Creativity

Extreme Adaptation

My new thought:

Regardless of the scenario in my life, I will radically adapt to it, and extract the maximum out of any situation or scenario in my life, regardless of how weak I feel, or how low my health is.

ERIC


PHILOSOPHY by KIM

Philosophical Essays

Masters of Philosophy »

Personal Philosophy »

Stoicism »

Zen Philosophy »

Life Lessons »

Learn more: Start Here >

Scroll to Top