What are you in it for?

Posted by in Productivity

What are you in it for?

Some are in it for the money; others for respect. Some for love, and some just for the hell of it. As time goes by, however, people tend to change in unpredictable ways – and there’s never a  bad time to ask yourself what you’re in it for now.


The view from the outside


Despite the apparent wishes of most of this planet’s population, there’s one thing we humans aren’t very good at – and that’s consciously evoking real, lasting change in ourselves. It’s a little amusing to think about when one takes into consideration that our subconscious excels at this, programmed as it is to alter our behaviour in near-invisible increments based on the thousands of small impressions which are made upon us everyday.


It’s even more amusing considering the strong opinions we often have of change – or the lack thereof – in others, even though the time we’ve spent interacting with them isn’t even fraction of what we’ve spent inhabiting our own minds. Amusing, perhaps, but not at all surprising: it’s always easier to gain perspective from afar. Just think about standing in the midst of a football match as opposed to viewing it from the sidelines; suddenly, you’ll be missing those seemingly obvious passes, too.


But what does this have to do with anything, you ask?


It’s simple: as time goes by, we all change – but our ability to perceive such changes in ourselves is so inferior compared to our ability to perceive it in those around us that we may very well wake up one day with the realization that our goals are no longer relevant.


They may very well have been good goals, crafted with the best of intentions, but that doesn’t make a difference as long as they’re not in alignment with what you want right now.


Don’t remind yourself, ask yourself


It’s often said that to achieve your goals, you must frequently remind yourself of them. While I agree with this, it’s critical to adjust for changes – and since we’re a stubborn bunch, I believe it equally important to frequently ask yourself about your goals. If you can discuss them with someone whom you trust and know well enough to be honest with you, that’s even better, as such people can provide the very perspective from afar that we often lack ourselves.


You see, clinging to outdated goals can be every bit as bad as clinging to wrong goals – which, come to think of it, is the exact same thing. If your goals do not align with what you’re really in it for, you will at the very best achieve hollow victories, and at the worst damage your motivation for evoking real, lasting change in your own life.


I’m rather sure you wouldn’t like that.