Like most I learned the hard way, so it was no surprise to me when I actualized the difference between empty goals (purposeless) and purpose filled goals. I know some of you are probably saying a goal is a goal and once you reach it, that’s it.
While you can certainly achieve any goal you set, there is definitely a difference between purpose filled goals and purposeless (empty) goals. The greatest difference being happiness. Empty goals leave you just that, empty. And while on the surface it may not seem so, I ask you to consider a new perspective…
Empty goals leave you just that, empty.
Roughly three years ago I wrote some goals in my journal, and yes I keep a journal, I always have. And since that entry, I’ve made sure to check each of those goals off of my list. Now just so we can have concrete examples of the goals, I’ve listed a couple of them below:
1. Make 100K annual salary by the age of 30
2. Volunteer more
Now again these were not all of the goals I had set for myself, but just a few for me to use to illustrate the point of this post.
Now I checked these goals off of my list, labeled them as done and went on to the next. It wasn’t until I reflected upon achieving some of these goals that I noticed one of them lacked purpose.
Now, at that point in my life (three years ago), I recognized my God given purpose. However, at the time these goals were set, I felt like both of these goals would make me happier, more accomplished and that I would be walking in my purpose while simultaneously fulfilling my dreams. But, little did I know I had not yet realized how to tell the difference between purposeful goals and empty goals.
How to know if a goal is purposeful?
First I had to determine the difference between the goal’s purpose and the goal’s role in my purpose. The goal’s purpose speaks to the motivation behind the goal and the goal’s impact in your life. The goal’s role in my purpose, means just that, and answers the question does the goal align with my purpose.
Take for instance my second goal, to volunteer more. In pursuit of achieving this goal I decided to join the Missions Ministry at my church. One of the first community service events I participated in was sorting through donated canned and boxed goods and composing Thanksgiving meals for families in need. To be honest I didn’t participate as much in the ministry as I should have after that, but I checked it off the list. I felt good about my work. So the goal was a purposeful goal, because the motivation behind the goal was selfless. And selflessness always yields a clear conscious. The goal’s impact on my life, was in the form of realizing that I was loving someone through my work. And spreading love is a key component of my purpose. So the goal’s role in my purpose was fulfilled.
What makes a goal empty?
To determine if my goal was empty…
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