Have you ever made goal for yourself, set out to go get it, and detrimentally failed in doing so?
Maybe you wanted to lose weight or earn a million dollars or start a successful business, but it seems that no matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t get accomplished at all. Ever.You wind up in a failure loop: try, fail, try again, fail again. It makes you feel like your identity is “a failure”, that you’re just “no good at all” at getting what you want.
Well you know what? Fuck it.
People will tell you to “just keep trying” and “never get up”, to “live the dream” or whatever.
If you failed at prevailing at an accomplishment you set for yourself so many times and aren’t really making any notable progress on said goal (or learning from your mistakes for that matter), maybe it is time to actually call it quits.
In other words, if the goal is leading to nothing but failure, without any lessons learned or opportunities opened, then cut it.
Be lazy and take it off your to do list. Seriously.
See, there comes a time where we must examine our goal(s) and see if it’s actually attainable or not. If your goal is too big, you’re gonna flop n’ fail and not the good kind of fail either, where you can say “mistakes are meh”, learn from it, and move on, but the bad kind of fail where there’s no value you can take away from it. These are goals you should just give up on
It’s like you’re failing just to fail, without even realizing it.
I mean if I told you to go swim across the Atlantic Ocean within a day. You’d be like “nah, bro that’s impossible.” Like you’re not even going to try to do that, because it’s a DUMB goal.
It’s a Dangerously Unattainable Monstrously Big Goal that doesn’t make any sense to even attempt. It’s utterly stupid. So why set yourself up for failure?
Failure is okay. You’re going to fail along the way to success. That much is unavoidable and as a matter of fact welcomed, with open arms. But to reach the same failure again and again without any sort of progress or lesson learned is a waste of time and pointless.
I mean don’t get me wrong. I love to waste time. I waste time on video games. I waste time sleeping. I even waste time scrolling through Reddit and looking at memes. But one thing I do NOT waste time on is hard work. I don’t spend any more time working than I have to. If I do any actual work, I want it to matter and be effective. I do just enough work to get by. I don’t want to work hard just for the sake of working hard. If you go for a goal and keep failing over and over for the same reason, then you're wasting time.
As Vaas Montenegro in Far Cry 3 said over and over again (ironically): the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and over again. If you’re trying the same goals repeatedly and making the same mistakes along the way, guess what? You may be a bit insane, or at least just not paying enough attention.
It’s okay, though-- we’ve all been brainwashed. This hard work mantra society is enough to drive anyone batty. We haven’t been taught how to properly set a goal because in order to properly set a goal you have to be….
And they (the owners of society) don’t want that. They just want obedient hard workers who help achieve THEIR goals, not your own.
You want to make an easy, peesey, SMART goal. Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant and Timely.
If you make a goal that is way too hard, or DUMB, you’re not only going to fail at meeting the expectations of that goal, but you’re also really not going to learn anything from that failure. And this is what they want, they want you to associate goal-setting with
Imagine trying to dead lift a weight at the gym that you don’t have the strength for. I’m talking way beyond your capability, not like a “I could probably lift that on a good day” sort of thing but like a “I do not possess the muscle capacity to lift that amount of weight on any day. Period.”
You’re going to end up dropping it on the floor, failing, and the only thing you’ll learn from that little episode is that you can’t lift that amount of weight. Not much of a lesson there. You could have just used common sense.
See, instead, using the weight at the gym example, you gotta sorta start out low and incrementally increase the amount of weight that you lift, in order to build strength. You have to make the goal of lifting 10 pounds before you make one to lift 300. The same goes for any goal: start with a small easy goal and gradually increase the "weight" of it.
If you make your goal to dead lift 300 pounds and you don’t achieve it right away, you’re gonna feel like a failure. On the other hand, if you make it something small and achievable, you’ll earn this cool thing called progress and that’ll keep you moving forward and who knows? Maybe one day you can eventually get that 300 pound weight lifted.
Another example of a DUMB goal is, if you’re playing an RPG, it’s like trying to kill a boss you aren’t the proper level for nor have strong enough equipment for.
Like in Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you can literally fight the FINAL boss at the very beginning of the game as noob link. This is a DUMB goal because you’re just not going to have the skill or equipment necessary to take him down (for the average player anyway. I know there are probably some streamers out there who have successfully beaten this final boss with starter gear, but even *they* didn’t do that during their first playthrough; they took the time to master the controls and mechanics of the game, one step at a time). The odds are against you. The SMART goal would be to journey along other quests and fight lesser monsters until you are ready to take on that one final big baddie.
Now it’s easy to see why a goal is DUMB when I use a bit of hyperbole and say go swim across an ocean or lift big weights or kill a final boss as a noob something, but it isn’t always flat out in our face how goal can be DUMB..
Sometimes a DUMB goal seems like a “smart” thing to do -- like maybe multiply your income tenfold or master an instrument or even “be a better person”. Seems like an intellectual path to take, don’t it?
Well, the issue with these goals is that they don’t really have any substance. They’re too vague. They’re just these generic convictions about what you “should” do and who you “should” be without any specific parameters or measurable assets within a certain time frame. They aren’t really relevant to your current situation or ability either. They’re more like hopes or wishes.
Heck, you’re better off throwing a coin down a wishing well than actually putting in strenuous physical or mental effort and financial and emotional resources to try and attain any sort of DUMB goal. You’ll be relying on luck anyway.
Plan your actions one step at a time. Make a simple, yet attainable goal. Move like a sloth-- slow and deliberate, not like a squirrel trying to dash across the highway.
These type of (dumb) goals are just huge undertakings that you straight up just aren’t ready for. Put it this way, every hero has a backstory where they started out weak, maybe they were a peasant in the field or a nerdy kid at school. Their goal was to just solve one problem at a time, which *eventually* lead to saving the world.
Their ultimate accomplishment of saving the world was not their initial goal though. It was a result of the series of small goals they made along the way that got them to reach hero status.
Cloud from Final Fantasy VII (one of my favorite STORIES of all time by the way including any books or movies), for example, started out as a mercenary that wanted to make a bit of cash.
Later, he decides he supports the goals of Avalanche, the group that originally hired him, and wants to help take down the evil greedy corporation: Shinra.
Soon, Cloud and his friends realize the Shinra is just a tiny spec in the bigger picture and that there’s a larger play at hand.
See, Shinra was involved with these crazy experiments. One of which, they injected a human fetus with cells they found from an alien (from outer space) to see what would happen.
Well said human, Sephiroth, grew up and decided it was his “destiny” to rule over the planet. Oh
and he believed that this alien thing was his “mother”. I mean technically it was. I mean kinda. But like, not really.
Yeah, pretty messed up in the head, but that’s understandable. I mean mental illness happens is pretty common childhood stars, yet alone childhood scientific experiments.
But instead of developing a drug addiction or shaving his head in a mental break down (like childhood stars tend to do), he kinda had superpowers. And let me tell you, crazy + superpowers = danger.
This dude wanted to destroy the planet, so he could then rule it? Doesn’t seem like a great plan to me. That’s like burning down a kitchen because you want to be head chef. Well, what are you the head of now, oh mighty bright one?
Long story short, it winds up that Cloud and his buddies decide they’re the best for the job to put a stop to this god-wannabe one winged lunatic.
The point here is that Cloud never originally had the goal to take down a monstrous being with divine powers who was set to destroy the entire planet and rule over its ashes. But they winded up there through a series of small goals that got increasingly bigger.
The Cloud at the beginning of the game (both plot/character development wise and stat/gameplay wise) is not the Cloud that could save the Planet. If he did make the goal at the beginning of the game, he would have failed.
(Of course, Zack Fair, who Cloud actually imagined himself to be for 75% of the game, always said he wanted to be a hero, and turned out to be, but that’s another story.)
[END OF SPOILERS]
You want to build a goal based on real insight, not imagination. The former being one of calculated planning based on facts and the later being based on complete fantasy or idealism.
You’re a procrastinator so quit your goals that are too big and go for the low effort ones.
There’s no point in “trying hard” to attain big ass goals that are well, quite frankly, unattainable. It’s a waste time, effort and energy, so just give up on them.
Then replace them with some lazy, easy, SMART goals.
Take it easy, take it reeeal easy,