Goal Fatigue

Despite my guiding force in life being annual themes, I do choose one goal to pursue at any given time.

Usually, it’s a big one, but I don’t think about it every day. I set the intention once, then let my subconscious take over. The goal is always there, somewhere in the back of my mind, quietly steering my actions toward the right ends. I don’t care if I achieve the goal in a year or five or ten, but often, the mere act of choosing it makes it happen a lot faster.

Overall, my life is already fairly goal-less, and yet sometimes, I can’t help but feel tired of goals altogether. I get goal fatigue. I think that’s okay, and I want you to know it’s okay for you to be tired of goals as well.

Life used to be inherently goal-less. Survive! That was our ancestors’ only motto. Will you make it another day? Great! Now go out and play. Paint a cave or something. Whatever you feel like.

We’ve come a long way since then. We can choose where to bundle our intelligent energy, and it’s an absolute marvel to see what that can do.

Option, however, does not equal obligation. It’s perfectly fine to take six months off from “Achieve!” and make “Survive!” your new, intermittent motto – for if survival is easy, there’s a lot you might want to do just for fun! You could play video games for hours, read lots of books, or paint a cave (or a canvas), and it wouldn’t matter how well you do any of them. You could hike more, organize weekly pub nights for your friends, or simply be more available as a parent or partner.

Instead of dictating your life’s direction, you’d listen. Life would tell you what it needs and what it wants you to do, and you could decide individually for each request: Is this reasonable? Or should this be a hard no?

Eventually, you’d pull the strings (and yourself) back together. Maybe life provided a new, clear direction on its own, and if not, chances are, your previous goals are waiting right where you left them. You’d dust them off, look at them – with some new perspective, of course – and decide whether they’re still worth keeping. Some won’t be. Others might glow even brighter than before.

You’d pick one of those shiny orbs and insert it back into the machine. Your blinders would fold forward, gears subconsciously click into place, and you’d be back on track in no time, back to “Achieve!” the fun, honorable, and empowered game most of us get to play these days – just don’t forget to take another break when you feel goal fatigue.