For most of my life, I insisted on having goals for everything I wanted to achieve. Fitness? – “This is how I want to look and these are the things I am going to do to get there”. Wealth? – “These are the things I want to have and these are the things I will do to try and get them”.
Everything had a goal, and each goal had milestones and the steps needed to accomplish them.
After years and years or banging my head against walls trying to achieve my goals, I realised something very important about goals – that both striving for and achieving them are equally pointless and unfulfilling.
The only thing I ever seemed to get out of accomplishing a goal was a momentary sense of achievement, and then it was back to either getting bored with nothing to do or planning the next goal to strive for.
I was racing a never ending race with myself, while somehow convincing myself that I was actually competing with other people. But the truth was, no one else even cared! Everyone else was too busy running their own races to actually pay attention to me.
Once I had this realisation, no way I looked at the situation could ever make the whole idea seem anything other than pointless.
Sometime soon after this realisation, I came upon the concept of being path oriented instead of goal oriented. This idea sounded very profound to me, and by sounded profound I mean I had no idea what it meant. So, obviously, I decided to pretend it was something very special that I needed to understand and achieve.
For the longest time afterwards, I would still have goals, draw the straightest line possible from where I was to directly achieving the goal, call this straight line my path, and then tell myself I was now path oriented. Obviously, nothing had changed in my life and this silly definition of path oriented serves no purpose other than to temporarily distract me.
Very recently though, I’ve come upon a new way of looking at life that doesn’t even involve goals. Looking back, I realise now that this might possibly be what people mean by being path oriented.
So nowadays if people ask me what my goals are, I can respond with “I don’t have goals anymore. I am more path oriented than goal oriented”. If they then asks me what this path of mine is, I just stare at them as if this is the silliest question in the world until they look away sheepishly.
Luckily for me, no one ever asks me to explain what path oriented means, which is a good thing because I still have no idea.
I just don’t set goals anymore. I still have dreams and wishes, which I do nothing to achieve. I then wander about doing whatever I feel like doing, just like a little child. That’s it. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? Trust me, it isn’t.
Then why am I even doing it? I don’t know, for some reason my life feels like a lot more fun nowadays. I can’t even imagine going back to setting goals anymore.
Would I recommend this for anyone else? Most definitely not.
I assume you are a motivated, goal oriented person who always works towards and accomplishes their dreams.
If however you have the misfortune of getting mixed up in this path oriented business, do let me know. It would be nice to know that there are now two of us weirdos around in this world.