Why we chase goals?

Why we chase goals?

Have you ever stopped to consider why we incessantly chase goals? What drives us to seek to set new milestones and new achievements? Are we born with this propensity to chase goals or do we develop this hunger during our childhood or much later when we step into the competitive world?

While there are no clear answers to this yet, it appears that the origins of our goal achieving urge go back to our early childhood. Right from the time we are able to comprehend, we are encouraged to do things faster, better and more efficiently whether it is learning the alphabets or numbers or acquiring life skills. This “education” that starts with our family members is further reinforced at school and college and fully manifests itself when we begin our careers. We are expected to be competitive and to get ahead in our lives and career. Goals, thus become important for us to aim for and to achieve.

Think back to the first goal you had….it probably goes back to your childhood or school; perhaps you wanted to get a star from your favorite teacher, maybe you went to the circus and became determined to become an acrobat. You knew that achieving your goal would have made you happy. Goals do that. They activate the reward center within our brain and the promise of a potential payoff is sufficient motivation for us pursue our goals.

There is something intrinsically motivating about setting and achieving goals, a validation of our capabilities and a proof of our ability to push ourselves beyond the norms and finally capped with the sweet rewards that success would invariably bring, that makes the entire exercise worthwhile and rewarding.

What do you want? Really, Really want?

What do you want? Really, Really want?

All of us know what we want out of our life, our career, and our business. Right? Well..not really. Research has shown that only about 6% of people around the world actually know precisely what their goals are to the extent that they have written down their goals. This means the vast majority, billions of people have no clue what they want.

This fact is not really surprising considering that people rarely are able to articulate their goals. Usually, their goals are just a vague concept in their minds in the form of a strong feeling that something is missing in their lives and that they ought to do something about it soon. But, the reality is that they are not able to pinpoint exactly what is needed.

As a Performance & Success Coach, I often ask my clients what their goals are. The answers are along expected lines such as “I want to get a better paying job” or ” I want to save more money” or even “I want to start a business”. While all of these are good goals to have, perhaps what one needs to verify is that these are really what one wants out of life.

Let me give an example. When my clients tell me that they want to get a better paying job, I ask them “and what will that give you?”. They reply “I will be able to save more money”. Again my question is “and what will that give you?”. The answer is “I will be able to provide a better life for my family”. I repeat my question “OK. so what will achieving that give you?”. After thinking for a while, they say “It will give me happiness and peace of mind”. Now, that is what they really, REALLY want. Happiness and Peace of Mind, not another job. So, anything that would give them the same result would be acceptable and not just another better paying job.

When you think of the reasons why you want to achieve something in your life or career next time, keep asking yourself “and what will that give me?” until you can answer it no more and THAT will be what you really, really, REALLY want.