Every day in life people are told to set goals in life but the real problem however, is the fact that the goals they end up setting are restricted by the culture they live in. For instance, when teenagers are asked what they would like to do in life, they say things like I would love to become a lawyer. Some may say they want to become doctors, and they make all these decisions not because that is what they want but because that is what their family and friends expects from them. It is expected them to go to school, get a job, get married and have children and they end up doing all of these, but at the end of the day, it’s not the life they chose nor wanted. So how do we break this cycle, how can we change the perspective we have about goal setting.

First of all, there are two types of goals: the means goals and the end goals. Means goals are things like going to school, and the rest of them. People want to go to school to get a degree so they can be happy, have the money to buy a car or own a house. So the end goal is happiness, owning the car of your dreams while getting a degree is a means of getting to the end goals. The first thing you need to know about goal setting is that you need to forget the means goals and focus on the end goals. If you want to set a goal you need to make a list of three things:

1. Experiences

You need to ask yourself, what kind of experiences you want to have. What kind of person you want to marry, which countries you would like to visit. What kind of job you would enjoy having. You write down these experiences, the adventures you would like to have, the house you want to live in, write them down. After making the list of these experiences, you discover that these things are the things you want to experience in life and they are the things that brings you joy. Now that you have a list of the things you want to experience, the next list is the growth list and this is very important.

2. Growth

You now know what you want your experiences to be like, you now need to find out how you should grow to have those experiences. Most of the times when people set goals, they do not add growth to their list, but in truth, growth is the most important goal anyone should have. You need to find out how you want to grow, do you want to learn how to write, and do you want to be a better person, a better parent, a better musician. These questions enable you to set targets for yourself, and it helps you to grow into a person that would have the experiences you listed in the first list.

3. Give Back to the World

In the last list, you outline your plans on how you want to give back to community. You have had experiences, and you have grown, you now need to share these experiences and mentor others to be better. This is true happiness.

So after you have written these down, you come to see that the real goal every individual should have in life is growth, how to improve oneself, the goal is not to get a degree or work a boring job, the goal is to get better and to grow. Growth is the real goal, don’t get stuck in what the culture expects of you, you have to grow into a person you want to become.

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