It is simple, yet surprisingly difficult.
For most of us, life is filled with goals, dreams, and desires. There are many things we want to experience and create. We may also have objects we hope to purchase and awards we hope to receive. These are all natural wants and there is nothing wrong with them, but can we find a goal that covers all the other goals? This goal will likely be different for everyone and may change over time, but it is good to know the general direction you want to head. That way you can course-correct if you need to.
In this moment, I find myself gravitating toward a phrase from Tom Bilyeu of Impact Theory. He would champion the importance of “feeling good about yourself when you’re by yourself”. This feels like the goal that trumps all others to me. If I don’t feel good about myself without the praise of others or the need to attain something new, I am failing. True success is being perfectly happy with who I am in the moments when I’m sitting in thought or reading a book.
I know I won’t always feel great about myself. There will be at least a few moments where I am frustrated with myself or angered by a decision I made. I can, however, spend most of my time in a state where I am completely happy with who I am. I can do the difficult work that makes me feel proud at the end of the day. I can help a few people today and serve the community around me. I can take steps toward goals that will make me feel happier with who I am.
The importance of finding an overarching goal in your life is the way it lets you weed out goals and desires that don’t serve you. If, for example, you decide service is your top goal, buying an expensive car or house might not be the best use of your resources. Instead you could buy a modest house or car and donate the extra money to charity or start a much-needed business. Instead of spending decades at a career where you don’t feel useful, you could find a job where you feel needed.
Finding the goal that guides all others will allow you to spend your time as effectively as possible. When you know what you want, you can cut out the rest. You gain more time to focus on volunteering, starting your dream company, or meeting up with old friends.
If we can effectively determine the goals that make us happy, we can actually appreciate the results they bring to our life. We will be less likely to rush from one goal to the next just to happy for a few minutes before beginning the search again. We will be less likely to compare ourselves and our accomplishments to our peers. Our decisions will be less influenced by those around us. Being aware of the overarching goal that we want to guide our lives toward will give us a path to follow. We won’t feel the need to see what everyone else is doing on their paths, because we will know we’re on the right path for us.
It is easy to feel lost in life. Many of us aren’t sure where we want to be 5 years from now. We’re still figuring things out. That is how life works. It is a constant process of self-discovery. When we take the time to understand what will bring us closer to the lifestyle and mental states we hope to achieve, we can at least narrow our path a little. We can cut out a few decisions and guide the rest of our decisions toward that optimal state as best as we possibly can. Once you determine the one goal that stands above all others, your decisions will become easier and more fulfilling.