Why we chase goals?

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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.

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