December 30, 2022.
Setting goals, going with the flow, or both?
How does an ideal average day look for you?
Whatever it is, having as many ideal days as possible seems like an excellent way to build a great life.
If you experience many ideal days, something is working well. When you feel creative, productive, and empowered, you are having one of those days.
Any goals you are about to set should support that which works for you.
Where to start?
What is the best possible day you can have today? Think about it and write it down.
If you find a way to enjoy at least a bit today, you will start educating yourself to make incremental improvements daily. That's how you get self-confidence and perspective about your expectations.
What to avoid when setting goals?
- Getting too attached to big outcomes far in the future can generate anxiety bringing you away from an ideal day.
- Focusing exclusively on material results can make you believe that having something is a requisite for experiencing something you want, and that isn't always true. For example, having lots of money doesn't mean you are more likely to feel happiness.
- Forgetting emotional goals is a common mistake. Remember, we do things to experience emotions: safety, joy, freedom, belonging, fulfillment, etc.
- Sacrificing today to harvest the fruits of your efforts later. It is sad to see young people sacrificing their youth for false promises. In the same way, most of us sacrifice to get better results in the future. Harvesting every day sounds better to me.
When your objectives help you have a better day consistently, build resilience to face the day-to-day circumstances bravely, and ground yourself in the present, you are most certainly developing your wisdom.
What about the flow conversation?
Going with the flow vs. being in the flow.
Going with the flow is about letting things happen and riding the opportunities that emerge; it is about living spontaneously. Going with the flow is risky when we confuse it with the idea of doing what you love as a condition to achieve one's potential and therefore deserve what we want: money, validation, and legacy, among others. Going with the flow is about personal development with less resistance.
Being in the flow is a state of mind that facilitates creativity and innovation; it provides a feeling of pleasure by doing.
Sir Ken Robinson said that The Element is "the place where the things we love to do and the things we are good at come together." He also said, "It is difficult to feel accomplished when you're not accomplishing something that matters to you." The Element is the name of his book, and as I understand it is a way to explain The Flow.
So, going with the flow and being in the flow are complimentary ideas. One clears and opens our minds to opportunities, and the other grabs the chance to bring our imagination into reality.
The magic happens when we learn to do that without ignoring or sacrificing our livelihood.
Alan Watts said, "It's better to have a short life full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way." If those are the only options, I agree, but I think a good life happens somewhere in between.
In conclusion, you set goals to support the daily process of building a good life with less resistance, more authenticity, and more wisdom.
In contrast, you do not set goals to achieve imagined requisites for a good life. A good life is not an award you receive after fulfilling tasks.
A tree isn't better than a seed; both are good every day in their process of becoming. You and I are good along our development process; we just need to decrease the resistance, increase the joy, and declutter our minds from unnecessary goals and expectations.
Note: Thanks to Alex Mathers for the inspiration to write this article.
The start of a new year is upon us, we will certainly have to deal with difficulties and challenges, opportunities and happy moments. Let's deal with all of that in the company of our different tribes! Let's find joy and growth, peace and excitement! And don't forget that we are also here for you.
Cheers for progressively better days!
Jose & Jernej.