Your desires are path-dependent.
“The choices we make today affect the things we’ll want tomorrow,” writes Luke Burgis. So you are the accumulation of all your decisions leading up to this point.
To seize your future goals, all it takes is reverse-engineering what will get you there.
But always question your desires first.
We often get in the trap of creating goals because we’re imitating what other people want.
In his book, Wanting, Luke explains this in detail where most of our desires are mimetic, which is imitative, not intrinsic.
My ultimate business goal is to hold a group of companies producing $100 million a year in revenue.
Until recently, my business coach asked me, “why is this your ultimate goal?” and I didn’t have a great answer.
I likely imitated it based on what I saw other successful entrepreneurs producing, so I thought that should be my Big Hairy Audacious Goal too.
Instead, after some reflection, my missions are much more important than my goals.
- NateAnglin.com: “Helping business teams improve their performance, profit, and potential without sacrificing what’s most important.”
- Skylink: “We believe in making it ridiculously easy to do business with us delivering nose-to-tail aircraft maintenance material to dedicated client accounts, anywhere in the world.”
The takeaway: Always question why you’re choosing specific goals.
Don’t live for the future.
No matter how much you plan for the future, there’s no certainty it’s going to play out as you hoped.
“The obsessive planner, essentially, is demanding certain reassurances from the future — but the future isn’t the sort of thing that can ever provide the reassurance he craves, for the obvious reason that it’s still in the future,” writes Oliver Burkeman.
Your goals are important to help guide you in the right direction, but always chasing monetary gains at the expense of time with your family puts your goals over your principles if that’s what’s important to you.