A goal doesn’t have to be of earth-shaking proportions; it can simply be to mow the lawn, do the shopping or go fishing. Any of these activities can give you a lift, depending on your purpose in doing it. Any activity undertaken to meet a need of someone else can give your self-esteem a boost. People all over the world struggle to make sense of life. The lucky ones come to realise that close personal relationships is what give purpose in life and generates many short term goals to make each day worth living.
Another reason for having a goal is that it puts you in control of your life. At school, I was often in trouble and copped lots of punishment. It was in the days when teachers freely used the strap to ‘teach us a lesson’. When the teacher tired of hitting me, I was sent to do work around the grounds, like mowing the lawns or digging the garden. That didn’t work as a punishment because I would take charge and set myself a goal. It was usually to do the work in a certain way, and do it to my standard. By doing that, I turned a punishment into something I wanted to achieve. It was a win/win because the teacher thought he had punished me and I was proud of my achievement.
We can take advantage of whatever happens to respond in a way that moves us closer to achieving the goal. When I was about 19 my boss at the time gave me two bits of advice. One was: "Focus on a goal you really want to achieve so you can see, and grab, the many opportunities life presents for moving closer to your goal”. His second bit of advice was: "You can only freewheel downhill". By that he meant that people who want to achieve something have to be prepared to put effort into it.
We usually join a club, organisation or group because of the benefits for us but we could set a goal to find out what the needs of the club, organisation or group are, to discover what we can do for the club, organisation or group and its members. That makes it a two-way benefit and, in doing so, greatly increases our enjoyment of our time in the group. It follows that, if we a goal to do that in every relationship and for each encounter with other people throughout the day, life has meaning, purpose and direction.
Bob Myers, author of Travelling the Road of Peace and Happiness.