“Set your goals and write them down!” – Tony Robbins and every other guru.
But what if you don’t have any goals? What if you’re content as is?
Even content Zen monks still set the goal of achieving Nirvana – even the monks want a little more than where they are currently.
If you don’t have solid goals yet, it’s a guru’s first job to get you to set them. But implicitly, setting goals means you’re not ok with where you are since you need to achieve something you don’t have. They create a place of “want” – I want this and I want that.
The problem with it is that it creates a void in your current place in life, which, of course, you can only solve with some guru’s amazing advice to help get you moving towards your goal!
Then it’s a dark vicious circle where you achieve the goal and that doesn’t make you happy – the guru says you need more goals, perhaps if only you didn’t pick the wrong the first time!
Goals create an endless cycle of addiction, keeping you filling up seminar rooms finding the next strategy to “take it to the next level!”
There’s always a next level because goals can be viciously infinite.
You can’t convince someone to buy tons of seminars on “achieving your dream goals” if everyone is content as is! So, gurus start with making you feel like your current position in life is inherently not where you want to be as soon as you write a goal.
Goals have the tendency to create both depression and addiction to self improvement – Truth Cake
But you need progression in your life to feel better.
The moment that you can realize that you’re happy and complete where you are right now, and also realize that happiness is about progressing in some fashion (eg. meditating for a longer period of time, getting more money, having a better relationship, etc) then you achieve the next level:
Goal Transcendence – where you give up the addiction and need for the object behind the goal.
The point where you realize that moving forward is the goal and not what’s behind the goal post is when you can let go of the addictions of goals and become happy in the process.
This is precisely why only in Tony Robbins’ upper level stuff does he talk about “success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure,” because
a) people at a very low level mindset will insist that X dollars will make them happy, despite all the evidence from others to the contrary, so you have to let them create goals, achieve them, and realize they’re not much happier for it long term and,
b) he’s got to release people from the depression and relentless addiction of chasing the goals (which he created at the onset) and instead be happy with chasing the progress, which is where fulfillment truly lies.
It’s the dark side of goals – make people feel awful about their life by insisting they need goals, then give them endless goals to chase and achieve which creates addiction, and then finally reveal the truth. Use this formula and now you can be a guru too!
What goal setting level are you at?
1) The blah state of not really having goals set at all.
2) The depressed and addicted state of setting and achieving goals.
3) The happy state of Goal Transcendence where realizing the progress towards the goals is fulfilling in itself.