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Happiness Requires Goals
Earl Nightingale once wrote, “Happiness is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal, or goal.” You feel truly happy only when you are making progress, step-by-step, toward something that is important to you. Viktor Frankl, the founder of Logotherapy, wrote that the greatest need of human beings is for a sense of meaning and purpose in life, for a goal to work toward. Goals give you that sense of meaning and purpose, a clear sense of direction.
You Hold the Key
Setting goals, working toward them day by day, and ultimately achieving them is the key to happiness in life. Goal setting is so powerful that the very act of thinking about your goals makes you happy, even before you have taken the first step toward achieving them.
Why People Don’t Set Goals
They Think Goals Aren’t Important First, most people don’t realize the importance of goals. If you grow up in a home where no one has goals or you socialize with a group where goals are neither discussed nor valued, you can very easily reach adulthood without knowing that your ability to set and achieve goals will have more of an effect on your life than any other skill.
They Don’t Know How
The second reason that people don’t have goals is because they don’t know how to set them in the first place. Even worse, many people think that they already have goals. Alas! What they really have is a series of wishes or dreams, like “Be happy” or “Make a lot of money” or “Have a nice family life.” But these are not goals at all. They are merely fantasies that are common to everyone. A goal, however, is something distinctly different from a wish. It is clear, written, and specific. It can be quickly and easily described to another person. You can measure it, and you know when you have achieved it or not