Challenges of setting goals

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The following quote by Friedrich Nietzsche from "The Gay Science #360" made me reconsider how I approach personal goals.

Is the "aim," the "purpose," not often enough only an extenuating pretext, an additional self-blinding of conceit, which does not wish it to be said that the ship follows the stream into which it has accidentally run? That it "wishes" to go that way, because it must go that way? That it has a direction, sure enough, but not a steersman? We still require a criticism of the conception of "purpose".

– Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science

We may lose magic and value in the way that we define goals. There is a danger in defining goals too quickly.


Being a jack-of-all-trades does not have to be negative. You can taste a variety of experiences rather than dedicating your entire life to a single pursuit. Physical activities and self-expression seem to be incredibly rewarding. I currently work in IT, but I won't let it limit my exploration of other possibilities.

I try to avoid certain activities like escapism, to benefit my growth. Nietzsche's Übermensch is an ideal worth striving for, serving as a means to become your best self. While it is out of reach, it helps to set a direction, while avoiding too much nihilism.

Goals need time

Goals shouldn't immediately be set in stone. Better ideas can come up during the pursuit of a goal. Ideas need time to develop. Perhaps we shouldn't be too quick to share them openly. A direction can be good, but goals can use the deserved time to change.

I maintain a "Now" page, but I am intentionally keeping it vague moving forward. My long-term goals won't be too detailed, so that they have flexibility to change. It additionally gives me the freedom to change my path, and reduces stress. It gives the ideas time to develop.

There is so much to do and try in life. We can not do everything, but we can strive for a fulfilling life by seeking valuable experiences and avoiding time-consuming distractions.


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