Ask yourself this: when was the last time you’ve honestly asked the question, “What am I doing with my life?”
And I’m not talking about a classic, “Ahh sh*t I don’t know” response here. No, I’m talking about an honest look into the core of your being.
It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
Quite a terrifying question to face, right? Trust me, I understand.
Still, it’s a fundamental question to face. And one which actually isn’t so scary — once you figure out what your core values are.
Honestly? You just need an end goal.
We’re going to explore what it means to create a life goal. Then, we’ve got four tips to help you answer the big question once and for all.
What Do Life Goals Mean?
The most extraordinary people in the world today don’t have a career. They have a mission.—Vishen, founder of Mindvalley
Life goals are the long-term goals you set for the trajectory of your life.
But here’s the thing: most people don’t have any.
If you were to sit your parent, sibling, or partner down and ask: “what’s your life goal?”, what sort of answer would you receive?
Maybe a laugh. A chuckle. A mumbled reply asking, “doesn’t everyone just want to be happy?”
So many of us don’t have life goals because we’ve never stopped to consider what we truly want from this life.
Not just what you want today, tomorrow, or a week from now. Not what you want when you live in a different city or get a new job.
But what you want out of life.
This is what it means to cultivate a life goal worth striving towards.
What is the meaning of ‘ends’ and ‘means’?
Have you ever heard something described as “a means to an end”?
It’s a phrase that’s tossed about often enough. But it’s funny — if you were to actually ask someone what it means, they’d likely pull up short.
A means to an end is something that helps you on your way to achieving something greater.
And this brings us neatly to our next point: means goals vs. end goals.
What’s the difference between a means goal and an end goal?
Well, now that you’ve got a grasp on “means to an end,” you can probably guess.
An end goal is a goal you’ve set for your future. It’s relatively inflexible and rigid — something you’ve envisioned that you don’t want to compromise on.
Means goals are flexible and adaptable. They can change based on fluctuating circumstances.
What is an ultimate goal?
An ultimate goal is another way to describe your life goal.
These end goals give us direction and purpose. They give us a heading to steer by.
We can use means goals or sub-goals to navigate our way closer to our destination.
But we need to know what that destination is.
4 Ways to Determine Your Ultimate End Goal
End goals are beautiful, end goals are the end result of being human. End goals are about experiencing love, traveling around the world, being truly happy, contributing to the planet, learning a new skill.— Vishen, founder of Mindvalley
An earnest pursuit of this simple, yet profound concept, will provide you with a whole new direction in life. One that leaves you feeling empowered and embarking upon a journey of steady and progressive growth.
Sounds nice, right?
Okay, so how do we get there? How do we actually go about ensuring that we have determined an adequate and empowering end goal?
A great question! And one we happen to have a thorough response to.
Let’s explore these four powerful steps to sculpting your life’s ultimate end goal.
1. Deep reflection on past experiences
First things first: pursue a deeper understanding of your past.
In understanding where we are best suited to be going, we must first look to where we have been.
Let’s play a game.
Grab a pen and some paper. Not a new word document, or a fresh note on Google Keep. Grab an actual, physical pen and some paper.
Now, write END GOAL at the top of this paper to thoroughly set your intentions.
Next, write down your top 5 most memorable experiences. Good or bad, anything goes, just write down the first 5 memories that come to mind.
Once you have these written down, let’s go ahead and return to each one individually. Really focus on only one at a time and try to forget about the others as you do this.
For each memory, write down 5 words. Verbs, nouns, emotions — whatever comes to mind.
Okay, now check this out.
Go back through this list of 25 words and look for repeats.
2. Find a common theme
Not just specific repeats either, but synonyms as well. Look also for anywhere that two or more words might fall into a similar category.
Group these words together into one, two, maybe three categories, and find a common theme.
Remember, we’re establishing an end goal here, something that will encompass and embody your entire life.
Ask yourself, what direction are the most powerful moments of my life guiding me?
Search for meaning within these categories, and as you do, question yourself.
Question how you might be able to harness your own strength and use it to apply a positive influence in the direction of this meaning.
3. Isolate your talents and desires
As you do this, begin brainstorming your own abilities and desires.
Write them down in a list right next to this categorical one you’ve just created.
What are you best at in this life?
What do you enjoy doing the most?
Reflect deeply on these two questions and allow this list to become as long as you would like. You could even take this a step further and create categories here as well.
Once complete, again, start looking for overlapping themes.
4. Combine everything into one vision
As what you remember to be the most powerful moments of your life begin to overlap with your strongest passions and desires, one all-encompassing direction will start to present itself.
An end goal.
Your end goal.
Next, ask yourself the 3 most essential questions in life, according to Vishen.
- What do I want to experience out of life?
- How do I want to grow?
- What do I want to contribute to the planet?
If you do this, everything will begin to become very clear.
Take all of it and give it some serious thought. Actually, better yet, meditate on it.
Ask yourself again, “What am I doing with my life?” and watch as some new, incredibly powerful images begin to pass through your mind.
From here, know that you’ve got this.