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    • In a recent conversation with a friend who's a theater actress and director, I complained how I can't ever settle for anything, and how new goals and visions spring up the second a current task is achieved. The second a goal becomes a reality, it's almost like it loses its former importance or impact, and off I go again, chasing another one.

      My friend told me off. She said, "it's great to always reach for a bigger goal, but you need to learn to appreciate and enjoy the results, too", Shortly afterwards, I read this article about being average and why it's better to be content than constantly look for something bigger, better, or more inspiring.

      I'm not sure I agree. Sure, being grounded and grateful is important. But why stop improving?

    • If you no longer have goals, you are not growing. If you are not growing you are not going forward. If you are not growing with goals going forward where are you going? I will not sit still and die. Thank you Egle and Paul for all of your inspiration to continually grow.

    • The argument was that constantly chasing new goals might prevent one from truly enjoying the moment and being grateful for the present. I have a feeling that those things don't have to be mutually exclusive, though.

    • I am obsessed with this topic and have been all my life. When I worked at NeXT for Steve Jobs and our little graphics animation company Pixar was failing, and it was clear Steve had to give up his dream of inventing a new computer because we were forced out of the hardware business at NeXT, I used to ask why he needed to do this so badly. He's wealthy, famous, in good health. Why not do what other people do and relax? Why put yourself through this?

      And yet I can't give up dreaming and striving either. I look at people around me and ask, why can't I be like them and take joy in the simple things of life like working in our garden? Why do I have to try and pioneer panel conversations on the Internet? The answer seems to be it is just who I am. I want to feel like I'm trying to do something significant that brings good into the world, that I'm needed and wanted.

      I read the article and here's where I think the disconnect is: if we're doing this for fame, status, or money, then I can see how it wouldn't bring lasting happiness. No matter how much status you accrue, someone else gets more, and anyway it can be fleeting.

      But if you do it for the love of doing it, for the people who are touched by it, for the satisfaction of doing something that matters, then I think it's much more likely you'll be a happy achiever. I know and admire lot of happy achievers.

    • I would agree with you. Staying grounded and grateful doesn't need to come at the expense of creating goals, right?

      For what it's worth, I'm glad to have been intro'd to you on Cake, I think what you do is inspiring.

    • Couldn't agree more about the purposes of achieving! It sure brings zero satisfaction if it's for external reasons. If it's about service, though, it can be pretty exhilarating.

      I recently had a conversation where my friend said she felt "bigger than herself" when she was truly lost in a moment creating something awesome. i think she nailed it.

    • But if you do it for the love of doing it, for the people who are touched by it, for the satisfaction of doing something that matters, then I think it's much more likely you'll be a happy achiever.

      Without getting too personal, I’m going through a transition of being goal-less and I will gladly take the dissatisfaction of goals achieved over the meh! feeling of not having a clear focus. When work and my goals are in alignment, and when my goals are intrinsically meaningful, I’m both driven towards the next summit and enjoying the journey.

      I have gained useful insights for developing meaningful goals both from “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Franklin and Po Bronson’s “What Should I do with My Life?”

    • Both excellent books. I think Csikszentmihalyi's Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience should also be on the list.