This is the Ef Zin insight on Real Goals that you practice and experience in the program “How to Create Real Goals“. 

The question we ask ourselves is “How do you create a real and meaningful life?”

We’re all looking for “something” out of life, like an itch that needs to be scratched or a flavor we crave. And although many of us can’t articulate what “something” is, we still seek it out in our everyday lives; in our careers, our hobbies, our friends, and our relationships. We formulate hypotheses – expectations – of how to gain this “something” and pursue them expecting an improvement in our quality of life. We organize a series of goals to carry out our hypotheses: “a raise will give me a sense of achievement”, “a house will symbolize my progress”, “a partner will reflect my personal value”. However, more often than not, the goals we’ve accomplished do not fulfill us the way we expected. Instead, we’re left tired and unmotivated with a unsatisfied itch.

These urges we feel are our personal needs calling out to be fulfilled. Our needs are very real; real in the way we hurt when they are unaddressed and real in they way we grow when we tend to them. As such, they need to be treated with realness. This means the expectations we form on how to fulfill our needs must be real. Real in the way they address our true needs. We need to evaluate our way of thinking. How does getting a raise, buying a house, forming a relationship address our personal needs? A way of evaluating and predicting the effectiveness of our goals is by understanding the very nature of our needs. Is it a need to be creative? A need to feel secure? A need to connect? More specifically, what type of creativity, security or connectivity is representative of the real you? This realness will determine the degree to which you genuinely fulfill your needs or simply create more. Is the source of our actions and choices internally or externally influenced? Are we adopting unrealistic expectations set by others or chasing goals that are untrue to us?

Real goals fulfill us to our core because they are authentic, substantial and long-lasting. They are meaningful because they bring light to what we deem to be meaningful. They are valuable because they offer the value we seek.

But how do we fulfill these real goals? Naturally, this requires realness as well. The ultimate tool in creating a meaningful life is the real you. That is the nature of your character; your traits and attributes, your thinking process and the ideas it produces, your values and beliefs, your talents and skills, etc. It is your inherent qualities that guide you and actualize your goals; ultimately fulfilling your needs. You are bound to create meaning when you behave authentically in the way you approach your goals. In the way your passion for your work provides a sense of achievement (not only a raise) or your perseverance in adversity represents your progress (not only the purchase of a house) or the quality of your love reinforces your personal value (not simply having a partner). When the choices you make and the actions you undertake are real in representing you, the life you create for yourself is also real. Real in the way it is true to you, connected to you, made by you and for you. The itch has been scratched and the flavor devoured; you’re at peace and fulfilled.

Of course, the creative process of needs and goals is not linear, concrete nor final. We constantly evolve and grow as we continue to participate in the experience of living. Likewise, the nature of our goals changes with us. The more we experiment in the trial and error of setting goals, the more clearly we understand ourselves and our needs. Discovering nuances about our personality, recognizing differences in the way we express our qualities, and realizing the depth of our needs. And with every bit of truth we uncover about ourselves, we reassess our expectations and redefine our goals. We learn from the creative process to carry on creating.

Life no longer feels like a series of pointless goals, but rather, life is the purposeful becoming of the Real You.

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