Bill Copeland, a well respected author, once said “the trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” The truth is that in today’s society whereby instant communication is the norm with sites like Facebook, Hotmail and Twitter constantly vying for our attention, it can be challenging to sit down and assess what we want to achieve on a deeper level, let alone make time for those activities. In Tony Hsieh’s book, Delivering Happiness, he pin points ‘perceived progress’ as an essential component of our overall happiness and, as the field of positive psychology develops, this principle is becoming widely accepted.
So how do we discover what we want to achieve? A good place to start is with our dreams. Often our dreams are a reflection of our inner most desires as the very word dream implies it is an unobtainable fantasy, so we tend to feel safe to imagine what we may otherwise think of as impossible. If we question whether we are mostly interested in the activity or the fruits of that activity we can discern whether we have the motivation required to fulfill our dreams. For example, I may not love singing but still want to be a pop star, with all the fame and notoriety that involves, however, without the desire to sing it is unlikely I will succeed at becoming a chart-topping sensation. If the activity itself does not interest you but the results do, it may be best to stay loyal to your interests as your motivation will soon wane once you begin to engage in the activity. If, on the other hand, you are genuinely interested in the activity you have the necessary foundations to start setting your goals!