One day, I was watching this straight talking guy on Youtube and he was sharing about setting the right goals. He said that we must set ‘end’ goals instead of ‘means’ goals. His message was like a cold shower that woke me up and my senses.
He is right! I realized that I was also trapped in setting ‘means’ goals that I didn’t even know the ‘end’ goals.
Let me illustrate first the difference of the two: ‘Means’ goals are goals that we think will lead us to the ‘end’ goals. An example of a ‘means’ goal is to get a high-paying job; the ‘end’ goal of which is perhaps to provide the needs of the family. When you have a ‘means’ goal, you always ask, “So that?” – and it should lead you to state the ‘end’ goals.
There is nothing wrong with setting ‘means’ goals as long as it is always set according to the ‘end’ goals. This way, when we fail to fulfill the ‘means’ goals that were set at first, we know that we can set another as long as it will fulfill the ‘end’ goal.
In the example above, if we cannot get a high-paying job, we can perhaps put up a high-earning enterprise. Notice that you changed the ‘means’ goal but then it will still lead you to the ‘end’ goal. In this scenario, you will still end up being able to provide the needs of the family.
‘Means’ goals tend to be a variable that changes while ‘end’ goals are supposed to be constant that does not change even if the ‘means’ goals change. Therefore, if there is a goal that we need to set first, it should be the ‘end’ goal. If there is a goal that we need to set our eyes on the most, it should be the ‘end’ goal. And if in the process of attaining the ‘means’ goals we fail, it is ok because we can go for another ‘means’ goal that will still help us achieve the ‘end’ goal.
Hence, instead of focusing first on how much money you want to earn, what cars you want to buy, or what job title you want to land, make that change in perspective! Focus first on knowing your end goals. Vishen Lakhiani, founder and CEO of Mindvalley, shared that we better ask questions that will help us determine our end goals. Here are the questions he left me pondering on: What do I want to experience? In what area do I want to grow into? How will I contribute? (Note: I paraphrased his version of questions.) We may have answers to these questions like – we want to experience joy (in a happy family and harmonious community), we want to grow in our physical and spiritual life, and we want to contribute by means of helping empower the young minds through education (or whatever path of service you want to take).
In answering these questions, we will be able to know our ‘end’ goals. After which, we ask the question “how” – which will lead us to determining the different ways on how to do them. And in knowing the different ways of achieving the ‘end’ goals, we now have the different ‘means’ goals. This way, the ‘means’ goals are in a better footing because they are based on the ‘end’ goals.
As a result, all your pursuits will now lead you to fulfilling your ‘end’ goals. In this way, it is no longer about the money but the real reason of earning money, it is no longer about material things but the essence of those things, and it is no longer about job titles or positions but about purpose. It is no longer about the ‘means’ goals but it is now about the ‘end’ goals.
I have to issue a warning that the ‘end’ goals we will find ourselves setting will be so grand and great that may overwhelm us. It is going to be greater than ourselves. You and I will be needing help, the Grand Help. Hence, you and I need to stay nourished. We need to stay empowered and inspired. We need to continually plug in to a source will nurture our heart and soul.
There are a lot of ways to do it. One of which is to connect with a loving community, with the church. Attend good and godly gatherings, accept God’s grace, and allow Love to fill you up and empower you to fulfill your end goal.
Again, to love, you need to receive love. Constantly. So, let that be our ultimate ‘end’ goal!
Live your life, young mind!
(Chris Dao-anis, CPA, DTM is a trainer and speaker on public speaking and leadership. His latest book ‘Living Large in the Little Things’ is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road, Baguio City. For talks and trainings, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.chrispoweracademy.com.)