Why you shouldn’t have goals.

By David Joel Miller.

Not having goals makes life simpler.

Have you noticed how many books and blog posts there are about goals and

Setting Goals.

Setting Goals.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

motivation? I can’t even read all the materials on how to set goals, the steps you need to take to reach your goals, and why you may be pursuing the wrong goals. Despite all the efforts to reach a lot of goals everybody who is pursuing those goals seems to be unhappy. Then I run into people who have no goals, and they don’t seem to be in the least bit concerned about their lack of goals. Is it possible that we have it all wrong, could this constant emphasis on pursuing goals be the cause of a great deal of insecurity? Maybe the people who have managed to convince themselves they are incapable of reaching goals are onto something. Here’s a short list of reasons why having goals may not be all that desirable.

Goals take effort.

One of the easiest ways to avoid reaching goals is to avoid putting any effort into them. Don’t set goals in the first place. If by accident you discover that you have some life goals, make no effort in that direction. Especially resist anyone in your life who tries to suggest that you need to have some goals. Ignore the advice and encouragement of parents, partners, family, friends, and especially helping professionals. Avoiding all this goal hoopla will save you a whole lot of effort.

Success in reaching goals comes with responsibility.

As long as you have no goals or if you can convince yourself that you could never possibly achieve a goal any way you could avoid all the responsibility for your life. Success comes with responsibilities. The more you have, the more bills you’ll have to pay. If you have a job, they will want you to show up on a regular basis. Being successful in relationships means one more person you must care about. If you want to avoid responsibility in life accomplishes as little as possible, and the easiest way to avoid success is never to try.

Make lots of goals just don’t pursue them; you will accidentally reach some.

Be careful with that process of creating goals. Especially, don’t ever write down a list of goals. We used to think that the process of writing out goals would put the subconscious to work on creating those goals. Some professionals even believed in universal or subconscious goals that all humans might aspire to reach. Absolutely, do not think about goals and especially avoid writing anything down. Keeping any goals for life out of your mind reduces the risk that you might reach some of those goals without effort, purely because of your subconscious creating them.

Don’t waste time on goal planning.

People with goals get sucked into the whole planning their life process. Do your best to avoid thinking. You know that whole trying to figure out who you are and what you want process, is likely to make your head hurt. Save your time for important things like binge-watching television and frantically worrying about why you don’t have enough friends on social media. Planning and implementing goals will interfere with your vegetating time.

Efforts towards goals can be painful.

Effort at anything can be painful. Have you ever watched any of those exercise videos? Don’t you feel sorry for all those fit and trim bodies? Those people doing all that work, they could have saved themselves a lot of effort by just avoiding the work that is required to reach meaningful goals.

You shouldn’t have to choose your goals.

Choosing is hard. Do you want to be a doctor? Maybe you should be a lawyer? Or maybe you were destined to be a successful businessman. Why should you plan your future? Wait for the letter of acceptance from the medical school to arrive in the mail. Maybe the boss who wants to hire you and pay you lots of money will come knocking on your door. If you’re out going to school or hunting for a job, you won’t be home when opportunity knocks on your door and tells you which kind of success you’re supposed to be.

You were born unmotivated, why change?

When you were little, were there always people wanting you to do something. Somebody bugging you, first to crawl, and then to walk? Remember that whole potty training fiasco? You got through your childhood somehow putting things in your face and doing as little as possible. You probably have avoided a whole lot of work by telling yourself you’re lazy. It’s not your fault; you were born that way. Motivating you has always been somebody else’s job. If your parents couldn’t motivate you, your teachers in school didn’t motivate you, why are you going to try to self-motivate? The time for motivation is once you get a job, then it will be up to your boss to motivate you.

Stay unconscious so you won’t recognize when you reach your goal.

If all else fails, you can avoid any strenuous motivational thinking by staying as unconscious as possible. Drink lots of alcohol, do lots of drugs, and try to avoid straining your brain by thinking. But then if you are extra good at avoiding motivation, you probably didn’t read this, did you?

Still not convinced you should avoid goals? You may be one of those people headed for a successful, happy life. More posts on this topic are at motivation and success.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Have you picked the right goal?

By David Joel Miller.

Not all goals will work out, here are ways to test your life goal.

Reaching life goals

Setting goals.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

You’re told that people who accomplish things pick goals and stick to them. We also hear plenty of stories about those who pursue life goals that take them nowhere and could never have been possible. How can you tell if the goals you are considering are worthwhile goals and the right goals for you?

Goals set the direction for your life. How viable are those goals? To measure anything you need a good ruler. Here is a set of measurement standards to help you decide if the goal you are considering is the right goal for you.

Is this goal consistent with my values?

You can pick a goal because it is popular or because you are told that is the thing you should be wanting, but you need to consider if when you reach this goal will you still like yourself. Will you be the person you would like to be?

It is easy to get caught up in the quest for someone else’s goal. Society talks about goals like popularity and financial wealth. If those goals work for you then go for it. But you need to take a good look at what really makes you happy and what you are all about. It is not success if what you value most is family, but you spend your life making money and mailing it home so your family can live without you.

If I do this will my family or friends be proud of me?

There are lots of goals that you could accomplish. Ask yourself if this goal is something you would want your children sharing at school. Would you be proud that you accomplished this thing or is this a goal that needs to remain in the secret darkness?

Is it worth doing?

There are lots of things you might devote your life to. You could set all kinds of world records. But which records will make you feel like you have accomplished something and which are simply records for having done something a minute longer than someone else.

Can it be done? Not what they say but your belief.

Do you really believe in your heart that this is a possible goal? It is possible to trick yourself into believing that if you do this or that then you will be happy. If you are not happy in the process of getting there then you are unlikely to be happy when you reach that goal. Don’t be the little kid in you spending your life digging a tunnel to China. Do find better ways to open up connections to far off places.

Can you do it?

Are you the right person to accomplish this goal? To reach goals you need to believe in yourself. Are you that person now or will you need to change yourself to get there? You may need more schooling or have to develop an underdeveloped strength.

Is it possible for you? Pursuing a sports goal when you are physically ill-suited for the sport may set yourself up for failure. You can hate music and practice but be pursuing a goal of fame by being the rock star on stage. Consider other ways you might achieve that goal of fame that are better suited to who you truly are.

If you find that you are not the right person for pursuing this goal then it is also likely that giving your life in pursuit of this goal is not the right thing for you.

What will get in your way – obstacles?

In selecting goals for yourself one often overlooked factor is the obstacles that will get in your way. How much money will this take? How much time will be needed? Do you have those resources or how will you raise the required money? Are you starting on a goal that will take several lifetimes to finish? What part of your plan will need to be modified or given up in order to overcome this obstacle?

When you develop this plan to overcome the obstacle will you find the effort in overcoming that barrier will have reduced the value of reaching that goal to the point you no longer want to pursue it?

Can I get past the obstacles?

Some obstacles can be overcome and some can’t. Flying to the moon would have been an impossible achievement for someone living in colonial America. This goal required the invention of the airplane, missiles, and lots of other technology before it became possible. It required a large team effort.

Some obstacles can be overcome by you alone, others require help from contemporaries and some goals are just outside the possibilities of things as they are now.

Will the goal be worth the cost?

Reaching any goal requires expenditures and sacrifices. Always consider how much time, how much money and how much pain and effort will be required to reach your objective. Just make sure that once you are there that reaching this goal will have been worth the sacrifices.

If you fail (Don’t make it) can you still be happy?

You want to be a great author and you write your whole life. No one may read that epic in your lifetime. Will it still be worth it? What if you wanted to play in the majors and you spend years trying. Will the journey be its own reward or will your life be ruined because you never made it to that goal?

If the pursuit of your objective is worth the effort by itself this is a great goal. If only the achieving will be worthwhile consider carefully what you will have given up or have lost in the pursuit of an unattained goal.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Could you use a little magic?

By David Joel Miller

This time of year magical things seem possible.

Magic

Magic
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Is there something you wish would happen but you can’t believe it is possible?  You would like a better job or a loving relationship but can’t see how that might ever be a part of your life. Sometimes it is difficult, maybe impossible, to imagine that life could ever be happy for you.

Not sure what a happy life might be like? Can’t figure out what you want because you keep getting stuck on what you think is possible and you tell yourself that the things you want could never happen. Not for you.

There is a way to move from stuck, looking for the possible, to unstuck, moving towards the goals you really want and making them possible. Several schools of therapy use things like magic questions, creative visualization or turning things over to God to allow better things to enter your life.

Ask yourself the magic question.

Try asking yourself a magic question. What if the genie waved their magic wand? What if you woke one day and your problems had all been solved? What would your life be like then?

Take some time to let this picture seep into your mind. Pictures, visualizing things takes us so much closer to that little child part of our brain. Feel the feelings as you turn this picture around in your mind. If your problems could be solved what would your life be like?

You do not have to believe, you just need to be willing to imagine.

Where would you be living? With whom? What would you be doing for a living? Don’t start saying things can’t happen, not for you. Believe in the power of magic; believe that this genie can make things happen. If you really believe then things can change for you.

Somehow it seems believable when I or others suggest that a genie with a lamp or a wizard with a magic wand could transform people’s lives. People who talk to me about their faith in God seem to have more difficulty believing that their God could or would change the things in their life.

I am inclined to think that this is more a matter of people’s lack of faith in God or a Higher Power than in any lack of ability on that Higher Powers part.

People who have experienced recovery have less difficulty in believing that their “Higher Power” could change things for them. They believe because they have experienced that life transformation.

The first step in creating the kind of life you really want, the kind of life you should be living is to picture it in your mind, to see it as possible. What you can picture you can create.

Be careful what you create.

Do you picture a world in which you are all-powerful and everything is about and for you? You can create a world of selfishness if that is what your mind pictures. When you use the power of imagining a life you want, be careful to think it through. Believe in, wish for a life that you know you shouldn’t have and you will get a world that shouldn’t be.

Do you want a good job? Do you want that job without effort? Then you will create a world of pretenses where you get hired for that thing you can’t do. Create a world in which you have a good job and can do it? Then you need to create the education and training that would support this life you are creating.

When we start to imagine a better life, the steps necessary to make that life move into reality become clear. What also emerges are the things about that fictional life that you may not be willing to put up with to have those goals.

Do you want successes at the risk of losing those you love?

In creating this magical world of your dreams get clear on your values and life goals. What is really important to you? Some dreams are best left in the dream world. Avoid spending too much time dreaming about things that shouldn’t be. Over time you become the things you think about the most.

Every day ordinary people create extraordinary, magical, events. They picture the world a better place. They believe that good things can happen for them and for others. Others imagine a world of pain and control where they are the supreme ruler. What kind of world do you choose to create?

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

Conquer Your Fears and Anxieties

By David Joel Miller

How do you get past those fear and anxiety feelings?

Anxiety and Fear

Anxiety and Fear
Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha

Fear likes you to think it is a roaring lion.

We all have our fears, but some people let fear stop them while others do things in spite of those fears. Here are some tips to help you manage your fears and anxieties. These are techniques you might use to go about shrinking those anxieties down to kitten size roars.

1. Take a close look at the fear – what are you really afraid of?

Many fears are vague fuzzy creatures. You feel if you do something or don’t do something else, then for sure, something bad will happen. Take another look. What are you really afraid of? If you can’t identify specific, high probability bad possibilities, the chances are that what you are really afraid of is change and the unknown.

What is the worst that could happen? What is the best that might happen? Is it worth the risk?

Take another look at that fear and you may find that it is nothing you really need to let stand in your way.

2. Make an inventory of your fears and anxieties.

If you find that you have lots of fears and anxieties you need to start by learning to identify them. Write them all down by name. What are you afraid of? Give them ratings. How much do you fear each item you have listed? Arrange them in order and start by challenging the least terrifying fear. As you work your way up the list you may find that you were fearing things that are not scary once you bring that fear out of its dark hiding place into the light.

3. Is anxiety telling you the truth?

Challenge each fear. Is it telling you the truth? Just because something seems scary does not mean it is really dangerous. Gather evidence about the real risks of this thing that scares you. Do your friends and other supporters have this same fear? How do they cope despite those fears?

Fear tries to manipulate you by telling you lies. Cross-examine that fear and present it the evidence you have gathered on why this thing is not the awful calamity it pretends to be.

4. Keep your eye on the goal of being fear-free.

When you have your mind set on getting something you will find that fear will get out of your way. Want to help or protect your child from danger, then you will have less difficulty with your anxiety.

How much do you want or need that job? Keep reminding yourself of your goal and the importance of getting where you need to go. Keeping your eye on the prize keeps you moving forward regardless of the fear.

5. Keep stretching your comfort zone.

Our anxieties are at their worst when you get too far outside your comfort zone. Think of the things that you have done in the past that you did not feel comfortable doing, but because of a friend’s encouragement or a real desire you did it anyway.

Having stepped a little outside your comfort zone and realizing things went well can stretch your confront zone.

Keep stretching out that comfort zone a little at a time and see how brave you will become.

6. Do not let fear steal your life.

Fear is a thief. Anxiety is a bully. They want to take your life away from you. Keep control of your life and let your fears and anxieties know that you are in charge. You can choose to do or not do something, but no fear or pint size anxiety will keep you from having the life you want and deserve.

7. Use positive self-talk.

Keep telling yourself that you can. Remind yourself of what you want and why. Words matter. We humans think in words and what we think tends to come true. Tell yourself you can’t and you create the failure. Tell yourself that you will give it your best effort and see what happens.

Occasionally you will give it the best shot you have and something will still turn out badly. Do not take this as a confirmation of your fears. Believe that no one hits 100% but that if you keep on going despite those fears there is no limit to how far you will go.

What have you done recently to give your fears and anxieties the boot? Leave a comment and let the rest of us know what works to keep the anxiety beast at bay.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.