How to set your life goals? What do you really want?

Many people argue that happiness somehow is the ultimate goal for humans.

It has been the focus of philosophers throughout the centuries.

Happiness and success are also deeply intertwined. Research on well-being conducted by psychologists Sonja Lyubomirsky, Ed Diener and Laura King has even found that happy people do better in different areas of life and work like relationships, health and finance.

It might be because people with a positive outlook see the world as an inherently positive place, which makes them open to good things happening. So, whether you see happiness as an end in itself or a step along the path to success, there’s no doubt that it’s worth pursuing.

Happiness comes from a specific purpose and appropriate goals. According to Tal Ben-Shahar from happiness studies academy, Happiness stems from two factors: letting in positive emotions and seeing life as purposeful. Or to put it differently, pleasure and meaning. Pleasure is the emotion that underlies motivation and therefore the pursuit of happiness.

To have a purpose in life, requires meaning. But fulfilling such a purpose can actually be quite a challenge. To make sure that you’re advancing your purpose while making yourself happy, it’s important to set future goals that are in line with the principles of meaning and pleasure. Basically, this means having goals that bring you closer to your future dream while ensuring you a happy, pleasant life in the current moment.

If you were a child in Greece around 300 BC and your parents wanted you to get a top education, rather than sending you off to business school as they might today, they would send you off to become well versed in the study of philosophy. One of the main schools of ancient Greek philosophy, and one that is still well known today, is the Stoic school.

In ancient Greece, there were the Stoics, who argued for a life of moderation and greater self-control in order to achieve peace of mind and avoid frustration and pain. Reaching this goal is no easy task too.

Like Philosophy, coaching, journaling, meditation – they are all tools that can support you and inspire you to reflect on what you really want, so that you are able to articulate and define your goals with more clarity.

Conversely, failing to set out goals may mean that you live your life in a way that you’ll regret as you get older. But pinpointing your goals can be tricky and tiresome in the modern world, where thousands of distractions compete for your attention on a daily basis and keep you from reflecting on your life.

It is said that if you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.

It is important to invest some time to reflect not only where you are going, but also why you are going there and what the result of reaching that destination will be.

This is a really interesting topic for me, especially when dealing with people and trying to support them to get what they want!

In relation to your desires and goals, you give yourself the greatest potential for success when you are completely clear from the inside out.

According to IPEC Coaching, there are two main types of perspectives for approaching life goals:

Performance Orientation –

People tend to set their goals more on extrinsically motivation (external rewards such as money, praise, status are key). They are excellent as motivators and normally are more short term as they are dependent on an outcome

This is based more on competition, people want to perform better than others, they want to win and therefore, they compare themselves too much with others.

People with external motivation can place their sense of self-worth on how they perform, which is a point of attention.

Mastery Orientation –

People tend to set their goals more on intrinsic motivations (the feelings and pleasure or satisfaction you get from completing or working on a task.).

In this sense, you are performing in order to become more competent or more skilled than you already are. You are more interested in continually develop into the best you can be. In this sense, you are not so much concerned with the outcome of any particular performance because you know that, even if you don’t achieve the expected result, you can always learn from it. Mastery goals are designed to increase your competency, understanding and long-term success.

There is no right or wrong kind of goal. It depends on so many other aspects, awareness and life momentum for each person.

You can start by reflecting:

- What are the things that I need and what are the things that I really want?

- Can you realize the difference in between the two?

- With each type of goal orientation do you approach your leadership performance and why?

If you want to discuss deeper, check out at or mail me.

Kind regards! Carla

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