Allow Yourself to Live Goal-Free

February 21, 2005

Here is an email I just received from a reader. When working on the Goal-Free Living project, I thought the people who would be most interested were the “Goalaholics”. But I have found that there are large numbers of people who already live Goal-Free, but feel ostracized by society. If anyone else has a great story to tell, please let me know. Thanks.

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Thank you!! I happened upon your web page this morning, and at first I thought it was a joke–Goal Free Living?! After all, everyone knows you won’t get anywhere in this life if you DON’T HAVE GOALS! Well, I have to admit, I’m 43, a mother of 5, a busy professional, a wife, and have never set a goal in my life, other than to get my black belt in Tae Kwon Do, which I did at age 41. Somehow, though, I’ve managed to build what I consider a successful life, all without the aid of setting goals.

I guess I’ve lived in the moment, for the moment, that setting goals seemed so structured and unbending. Yet, I’m a school counselor and teach seniors how to get ready for “LIFE”, which is supposed to include goal setting. Guess what! I have yet to teach them how to do that! Can’t teach what you don’t know, or what you don’t believe in. I obtained my Master’s when I was 21, am currently working on National Board Certification, and am in constant pursuit of knowledge and personal and spiritual growth. I never would have set these as goals for myself, yet I always achieve what I set out for. Thank you for giving me “permission” to live a goal-less life, and to feel OK about it. And for letting me know I’m NOT ALONE!!

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Another Letter from a Website Reader

February 9, 2005

I was reading your website this morning, and it makes a lot of sense. My friends and I always say, one day when I am married I will have this and that, or one day when I have children, when I have a large house on the water, etc…. I don’t fully appreciate my life now, today, all the good things I have now, being single, successful, having many friends, being young, energetic, being able to do whatever I want anytime I want and not have to ask permission or let anyone know what I’m going to do. Right now, today, is the time I should enjoy the most, having the time to hang out with my grandparents and family more, being able to travel and do adventures. Thanks, by reading just your website I am taking a different approach on things starting today….

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Goal-Free Challenges

February 8, 2005

Goal-Free Living is a set of principles that can be applied to many different aspects of your life. And for each of us, there are some areas where we find it more difficult to achieve goallessness. Even I, someone who has been able to apply goal-free concepts to nearly every aspect of my life, have specific circumstances where I find it difficult. One area where I sometimes find it challenging is in new romantic relationships.

A while ago I was in a relationship with a woman who was beautiful, vivacious, and passionate. But there were issues. She was thinking of moving to another state, and this made me wonder if the relationship would last. So I tried to remain detached and to just enjoy each day without worrying about the future. A good goal-free concept. But my insecurity about the situation made detachment nearly impossible. Instead, I ended up trying harder and harder to keep her, and in the process ended up smothered her; I came across as clingy and needy. The outcome? We are no longer dating. The more I tried to make things work, the less likely they were to work. Paradoxically, too much attachment to an outcome often yields a failure in achieving it.

What area of your life do you feel insecure, or the risks seem high? Unless you can change your perspective, these may be difficult areas to remain goal-free.

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