Refreshing Quotes and Books to Redefine Life Goals

Oodi Library, Helsinki

I find living in today’s fast-paced era really intimidating. It seems like everyone is racing to climb the career ladder as quickly as possible, aiming to reach the top at a young age. Scrolling through social media no longer entertains or helps me connect with my friends. It only intensifies the pressure, with people constantly flexing their achievements. It’s hard to feel like I am in a mentally healthy environment with such obsession over goals.

In the middle of this lunacy, I’ve found comfort in my love for non-fiction reading. This hobby gives me a little relief as many authors share my belief that while having goals is good, we shouldn’t fixate solely on them. Tunnel vision on goals can lead us to miss out on the greater experiences life has to offer. Thus, I believe we need to remain open-minded, embracing the twists and turns and unexpected journeys that life presents us.

Here, I will share the solace that I’ve found from quotes about goals from the books I’ve read. I hope, besides making you feel better like I am, you’ll probably interested to read the whole book. From there, perhaps you will be more inspired because they contain various insights, much more than about life goals.

Never Enough by Jennifer Breheny Wallace

When we chase materialistic goals, we typically do so at the expense of our basic needs to feel autonomous, competent, and connected to other people. This makes us more stressed and less happy. Those who favor status-driven goals, on average, tend to be more depressed and anxious, have lower self-esteem, and drink and smoke more.

Jennifer Breheny Wallace, Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic-and What We Can Do About It

Read the review and summary here.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Goals are good for setting a direction, but system are best for making progress.

James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Goals setting suffers from a serious case of survivorship bias. We concentrate on the people who end up winning and mistakenly assume that ambitious goal led to their success while overlooking all of the people who had the same objective but didn’t succeed.

James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Achieving a goal is only a momentary change. We think that we need to change our results, but the results are not the problem. What we really need to change are the system that cause those results. Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves.

James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

The problem with a goals-first mentality is that you’re continually putting happiness off until the next milestone. (..) Furthermore, goals create an “either-or” conflict: either you achieve your goal and are successful or you fail and you are a disappointment. You mentally box yourself into a narrow version of happiness. This is misguided. It is unlikely that your actual path through life will match the exact journey you had in mind when you set out. It makes no sense to restrict your satisfaction to one scenario when there are many paths to success.

James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

Read the review and summary here.

Same As Ever by Morgan Housel

Planning like a pessimist and dreaming like an optimist.

Morgan Housel, Same As Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes

Everything has a price, and the price is usually proportionate to the potential rewards.

Morgan Housel, Same As Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes

Read the review and summary here.

The Practice of Groundedness by Brad Stulberg

Rather than focusing on the heroic achievement of big goals, practice breaking them down into their component parts and then concentrate on those parts.

Brad Stulberg, The Practice of Groundedness: A Transformative Path to Success That Feeds—Not Crushes—Your Soul

Read the review and summary here.

From Strength to Strength by Arthur C. Brooks

With the right goals—earning your success and serving others—you can make the rest of your career itself your reward.

Arthur C. Brooks, From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness, and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life

Read the review and summary here.

Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned by Joel Lehman and Kenneth O. Stanley

Objectives might sometimes provide meaning or direction, but they also limit our freedom and become straitjackets around our desire to explore.

Joel Lehman and Kenneth O. Stanley, Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective

When everything we do is measured against its contribution to achieving one objective or another, it robs us of the chance for playful discovery.

Joel Lehman and Kenneth O. Stanley, Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective

When you go out into the uncertain world sometimes it may be wise to hitch a ride with serendipity. Being open and flexible to opportunity is sometimes more important than knowing what you’re trying to do. After all, any path might lead to happiness, even the most unexpected.

Joel Lehman and Kenneth O. Stanley, Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective

Read the review and summary here.

Mind Shift by Erwin Raphael McManus

Every aspect of success carries a price tag. If your aspiration is fame, it will cost you your privacy. If your ambition is power, it may cost you pease of mind, If your desire is self-indulgent pleasures, it will cost you a future. If your goal is wealth, it may cost you your soul. It’s not that any of these goals is inherently wrong. It’s that while money, fame, and the trappings of success can be extraordinary outcomes of a life well lived, they make for terrible objectives. your life purpose must be bigger than simply becoming famous, rich, or powerful. If these are the fuel of your life, you will always be running on empty. You will achieve everything you’ve ever wanted and still feel as if you have nothing. You must live for more,. There is no level of success that will give meaning to your life. If you do not already have meaning in your life all that you attain in life will have no meaning.

Erwin Raphael McManus, Mind Shift: It Doesn’t Take a Genius to Think Like One

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