Selfish Goal Setting: A Path to Success


Many times, well-meaning (although misguided) people will enter goal setting with the purpose of pleasing others. Why this may seem honorable, it is doomed to fail 99% of the time. If you try to quit smoking because your spouse wants it, but you don’t, you will find yourself backsliding on a regular basis and even becoming resentful. Your goals must be YOURS!! Don’t be afraid to be selfish when setting them.

What Do YOU Want?

Society and pop culture have lead us to believe that everyone should strive to be rich, successful, and built like a model. These goals are not necessarily in line with your values or even your desires. Why do your force them upon yourself? When you are goal setting, you have to say, “I am doing this for ME because I WANT IT!”

Now I won’t deny that there are tremendous benefits to being physically fit, financially well off or highly educated, but let’s be honest here, you don’t need all or any of these to live a successful and happy life. There are many somewhat overweight individuals that are quite happy to escape the annoyances of careful food selection and exercise and instead focus on earning money or spending time with family. By the same token, there are many physically fit individuals that see no need to bring in extraordinary levels of income to be happy; they would just as well get by with what they need to live.

I firmly believe all of us should constantly strive to improve ourselves, but there is no single blueprint that we should all follow. Being selfish can ensure that we do what’s best for ourselves. What might be important to me might not be important to you, and vice versa. For this reason, when you are determining which goals you would like to pursue you should always block out the wishes of others and select goals that are dear to your heart.

Why Be Selfish?

The word “selfish” has such a negative connotation. There is nothing wrong with placing your needs first every now and then, especially when goal setting! Obviously, I’m not advocating adopting a goal that would hurt others. Ideally in a committed relationship you and your significant other would share common goals. When push comes to shove, if you choose a goal solely for someone else, you will do yourself a huge disservice. You can afford to be selfish when it comes to your own happiness.

Take, for example, weight loss. Many overweight people lead happy and successful lives despite their weight; you don’t have to be as fit as a fiddle to be happy. Let’s say one of these somewhat overweight individuals decided one day to finally buckle under the constant societal harping about the benefits of weight loss and begin a diet program. What would happen?

Chances are very high the individual would adjust his diet and get off to a good start. Almost all of us are capable of losing a few pounds during the first couple weeks. This is thanks to the fact that much of the initial weight loss is water. Nobody likes being on a restrictive diet. Eventually, the body stops losing water weight and shifts into fat loss. At that point, weight loss will slow down to about a pound or two a week.

Throughout the diet, morale and an optimistic outlook on life will suffer. This might, in turn, begin to affect other areas of life, such as his relationships or business. Eventually, he will quit his diet in disgust. Almost immediately upon reverting to his old eating habits he will not only gain what he lost he’ll also gain even more! Diets play havoc with the body’s metabolism. More often than not a person that quits a diet will end up weighing far more than had they never dieted to begin with.

Find Your Passion

Clearly weight loss is a fantastic goal that can provide a lifetime of benefits, but it isn’t for everyone! If you are not passionate about such a goal, you could actually harm other areas of your life. When stress is added, morale and motivation drop due to your lifestyle change. To add insult to injury, you just might end up worse off than you were had you not even tried to adopt to society’s standards.

The above example holds true for every single goal under the sun. Many people love the business world and all its risks and challenges. Others would rather avoid the stressful situations and problems that all businessmen face. Perhaps they would rather live a middle-class lifestyle, stay physically fit and enjoy hiking or camping trips with a partner over the weekends during the time the business-oriented are probably working overtime.

When goal setting, selfishness is a virtue! Only choose goal for which you feel passion and excitement. If you are content with an area of your life, no one is forcing you to change it. Choose goals you can really put your heart into. It’ll make the journey much more enjoyable and will drastically increase your chances of success!

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Stephen Meadows

Stephen Meadows has been in the real estate industry since 2001 and has worked with hundreds of brokerages and thousands of agents all over the country. His passion for helping people succeed is apparent in all he does. Stephen has written 6 books and has published 15, 5 of which were Amazon Best Sellers.