Purpose and Goals

Purpose and goals are not exactly the same thing. Purpose is an overall desire on a general level; a goal is more specific, and it feeds the more general purpose. Think of ‘purpose’ as the planet and ‘goals’ as the moons orbiting the planet. A purpose can more or less be equivalent to a chosen career. If you feel good about your career, then you’ll also feel good about the particular goal you’re presently working on. If you have serious doubts about your career, or even have lost interest in it, then it becomes, to that extent, difficult or impossible to feel energized and motivated.

Purpose does not always involve making money. Sometimes people choose a job to pay the bills and feed their purpose, while their particular purpose might not make money (at least right away). This is especially true of people in the arts, or people starting a new business with no guarantee of making a profit any time soon.

Being goal-oriented without a sense of purpose won’t work. Your goals will collapse into obsessive and meaningless tasks. Likewise, purpose without goals won’t work either. Purpose without any concrete goals is like dreaming without ever trying to bring the dreams into reality. It’s like a roadmap without a road. I’m always telling people, “Take your dreams seriously.” What I mean by this is, “Have a purpose, and then translate that purpose into actual goals.”