Give Up Your Goals. ASAP.

By Martha Sigargök-Martin | Get Inspired

Jun 06
Give Up. ASAP.

If you're a little interested in personal development, you might have come across the thought that you should never ever give up.

A nice thought. I think a lot in life can't be attained if you don't have stamina and self-discipline. Such a brutal word by the way.

However, today, I want to talk about the opposite thought: 

The fact that giving up quickly can lead you faster to where you want.

The problem with goals

The Problem With Goals

Goal setting seems to be a reasonable way to come further in life, whatever those goals might look like to you.

From having a loving family, to lose some weight, or get a new job position - of course, you should be more precise here - the possibilities are endless. And thinking about those with a plan on how and when you want to get there is reinsuring, motivating and kind of empowering. Sorry, if I used this word which is all over the place on the internet, but I couldn’t find a better one.

Empowerment is figuring out that a lot is in your hands and that's a nice feeling to have. You don't feel randomly pushed in every direction by life and start to feel that you can change things.

However, goal setting presents a few challenges by nature, because

  • Thinking you can control the outcome of everything a hundred percent is an illusion.
  • Maybe you've set goals that aren't yours and it will feel like a lot of pain to get there.
  • Focusing only on the end result and not the journey will make you unhappy. VERY IMPORTANT! Once you've reached them, there is a chance that you'll feel disappointed. Even if it was your own goal.
  • Setting narrow goals can make you blind for other opportunities that are maybe way better for your happiness.
Should You Not Set Goals?

So, Should You Not Set Goals?

Not exactly.

Setting goals is a good way to start. If you absolutely don't know where you're going, you're not going anywhere. Which, by the way, isn't a tragedy in itself. It's a question of perception. Also, even if you shouldn't forget the present moment, it's human nature and a huge factor for happiness to project yourself in the future.

We can complain about our nature. And spiritual masters smile at the obsessed goal-setting Western society we're living in, but we're the only species that have the capacity to remember the past and imagine the future. So, why fight it at any price?

Instead, finding the right balance between projecting yourself into the future and enjoying the present moment as well, is what you should aim for.

Not easy.

The simple fact that I use the verbs "should" and "aim" sounds like a contradiction because it implies that things should be forced. The contrary of letting go. One concept you can't understand with your head but have to feel inside of you. I still myself suck at letting go. In rare moments or regarding certain things, I'm very good at it, but I still have a long way to go.

Kids are an amazing example you can follow to learn how to let go. Provided they haven't been fucked up by their parents.

Think of Goal Setting as An Orientation To Keep You in Movement

So, goal setting is amazing if you're not convulsively attached to the outcome.

And open for options - and I don't mean distractions - right and left as you're on your way.

As an example, lots of very successful companies like Airbnb or Facebook (I'm not worshipping anyone here, just underlining a certain aspect) started with a whole other business idea, or not any business idea at all, and got widely successful, a.o., BECAUSE THEY WERE FLEXIBLE.

Flexibility plays a tremendous role in happiness and getting things flowing.

Even if you should develop a certain work ethic if you want to achieve something, if you're hating every day of it getting there, you'll waste your time and not even be happy when you get where you wanted to be.

In addition, it's possible that you get exactly what you want but maybe you won't get there the way you thought you would.

Forcing Your Way Into Doing Anything

A Big Problem: Forcing Your Way Into Doing Anything

And unfortunately, I'm not a good example to follow on this. I'm not the go-to-gal for easy and smooth yet. But If you need someone to help you get going and discipline yourself, I'm yours.

By the way, I have a short and very helpful free eBook on the topic, check it out.

I want to share this with you, however, because I'd like to give you a... warning (what an ugly word): I've done a ton of things in my life, out of obligation, or because I didn't want to give up, and it neither lead me to success nor to happy places.

So, I just wanted you to be aware of it because it can be exhausting, both physically and mentally.

If you think you should do something at any price and you've stopped enjoying it a long time ago, there's something wrong.

Whether you're pursuing the wrong goal, or you're doing it the wrong way.

I think in this case, you should give up what you're doing, ASAP. Or delegate.

However. if you have the tendency to give up everything and never finish, it's maybe time for you to cultivate the tenacious side of you.

If you want something of course. If not, who cares?

So, What Should You Do?

So, What Should You Do?

Setting goals with concrete deadlines and a plan can be a lot of fun!

If you're a type A personality. Otherwise, it can be overwhelming.

If you're not interested in goal setting at all. And are just happy with living your life day in and day out, congrats! I bow to your wisdom. Even if you haven't done anything on purpose for it or even thought about it.

But, if you're reading this, chances are, that something struck you in the title.

So, here is a very unspectacular and pragmatical piece of advice for you:

  • Have fun setting goals! Even if you can't identify if it comes from you or from an idea of you, you're pursuing. Nobody cares. Just get the engine started.
  • Don't obsess over them and concentrate on the most joyful tasks to get there anyway.
  • Be flexible and prepare to change a few things along the way.
  • Don't forget to live and enjoy your life along the way (?Advice to myself).

What is your biggest challenge with setting goals?

  • Do you give up too fast?
  • Are you overzealous with your goals and never give up?
  • Have you found your balance?

Please, leave a comment under the "related posts" section below.

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About the Author

Hey! I'm Martha, and I help creative people understanding and solving mental and creative blocks through blog posts about film, series, and creativity, as well as through a creative coaching website ( just dedicated to this topic.