This is a collaborative post.
Life would be pretty dull and difficult to enjoy (or even get through), if it weren’t for our ability to set ourselves goals to pursue things that we find meaningful.
What sort of goals to choose
There are all sorts of different goals that motivate people’s actions on a day-to-day basis. It might be that you are interested in buying a second property and saving and working towards that. Alternatively, one of your goals to pursue might be that you have a dream of making it as a professional writer, or musician, or else simply becoming as self-sufficient as possible.
In all cases, the particular goal itself isn’t necessarily the most important factor. What matters most is the fact that you have some target that you are working towards, and can dedicate your attention and energy to.
Something to keep you energised on an everyday basis, and that helps to structure and order your attitudes and actions, instead of leaving you to become complacent and disheartened.
Of course, if you’re going to be pursuing goals in life, it’s certainly the case that you should pursue ones which are worthwhile. So, here are a few worthwhile goals you may want to go after.
Live life “closer to the bone” and less vicariously
We live in a totally entertainment-saturated time. Most of us spend the majority of our leisure hours more or less living life vicariously. We spend time watching other people doing things that we find exciting, or interesting, or learning about the world via a screen. These are much more worthwhile goals to pursue.
It’s not easy to really feel properly engaged with the world around you, and to live a very satisfying and productive life. If you are too absorbed in watching other people and aren’t focused enough on actually getting out there and engaging with life directly you are missing out.
One excellent goal that you can aim towards is to live life “closer to the bone,”. In other words, taking action and crafting and seeking out your own experiences. Doing this instead of contenting yourself with a second-hand existence.
This is the kind of goal that you can always take steps towards, but which you will never decisively “reach” or “complete.” There are always more things that can be done, and more ways you can expand this idea.
To begin with, focus more on engaging in social and creative activities that you find uplifting. Focus less on watching TV shows. Go to the gym and get involved in sports. Rather than just watching athletes and reading about their antics. Get out into nature instead of just listening to David Attenborough talking about it.
Pursue a creative passion of yours
Nurturing a creative passion is one of the most powerful and meaningful things that anyone can do with their time, as a rule. This is true regardless of whether or not you have any “talent” in any one area or not.
When you put yourself in the position of making things, you get to explore, vent, and express your own inner thoughts and feelings. Doing this in a way that really balances and grounds you, and lifts you to a higher level. Even if you only sketch a fairly basic picture, or paint a fairly basic painting. Doing this you will be gaining much more from the experience than you realise.
There are many different creative pastimes that you could choose to get involved in. It may be that you want to learn how to draw or paint. Alternatively, maybe the idea of writing a novel excites you. Or finally learning a musical instrument.
People are rarely as full of life as when they are working to create things.
Always be working to develop new skills, at every stage of life
In the book, “The Brain That Changes Itself,” by neuroscientist Norman Doidge, there is some pretty startling evidence presented. The more hobbies we maintain in older age the healthier and more active our brains remain, and the more slowly we age, mentally.
Learning new skills is one of the most fulfilling things you can do in your life. It not only makes you more useful to the people around you, but it also makes you more effective in whatever it is you’re doing. Additionally it makes you more valuable to potential employers, and makes life a good deal more interesting.
Always have some kind of “side project” that you’re working on. This will expand your skillset. That might mean learning how to code, or taking a course in first-aid.
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