In an earlier article titled “Number 1 Prevention to Pitfall for Any Project: Clearly Define Target”, we talked about how to achieve goals by first defining it.  Defining goals can be challenging: The technicality of a successful goal is in 2 parts: (1) a measurable goal, and (2) a timeline.

While it is important to define a clear goal for whatever you want to do (and I urge you to read the earlier article), it is also important to define the “right goal”.  Generally, this is along the lines of what makes you happy, or what makes you successful, or what allows you to contribute the most, etc.

First, you should start off being very general.  Remember everything should come from your heart.  Nobody but you knows what you want.   Challenge yourself to clearly define what you want.

These overall goals may be:
  • Start a family
  • Be an accountant
  • Help people
  • Be recognized as successful
  • Be recognized as beautiful
  • Live until 75

These goals should always be root to your feelings.  Ask yourself why you want that overall goal.

If you can go deeper in that goal after asking the question “why”, go deeper, or else you might not feel the achievement even when you actually achieve the task you set out initially.

For example:
  • What do you want?
  • I want to own a top-of-the-line expensive luxury car.
  • Why?
  • I want to be recognized as successful.

Well, maybe also having a luxury car and others don’t think you are successful.  We’ll get to that later.

By asking the question “why”, one has gone deeper into their feelings and can actually critique and breakdown what they actually want.

Let’s try one more:
  • What do you want?
  • I want to be an accountant.
  • Why?
  • I’m proud of my father’s achievements, so I want to follow his footsteps.

Well, if that’s your answer, most people who hear this will say, go for it.

But some answers are not as “deep” and should ask yourself again if this is what you truly want.

For example:
  • I want to be an accountant.
  • Why? My dad told me to do so.

This is probably not deep enough a reason.    Maybe you should ask why again:

  • I want to be an accountant because my dad told me to do so.
  • Why should you do what he says?
  • I don’t know what else I want to do.

This is the time when you should reconsider and maybe think about solving the part of “I don’t know what else I want to do.”

Now let’s go back to the luxury car idea.

People often say that material wants are meaningless, but why?

People preach it’s just ego stroking and being able to feel like others are admiring you.  You might chalk it up to jealousy of other people, or just simply dismiss it because they are saying things against what you want.  Nevertheless, I’m not here to tell you that you shouldn’t get a luxury car.

When I was young, I played a computer game called Master of Orion. In this game, there are a number of research goals, each giving meaningful advantages to the gameplay.  Eventually, however, because the player can play for an infinite number of turns, the writers cannot write an infinite number of new technology, it became research goals to accumulate points, instead of “plasma cannon”, it becomes “physics I”, “physics II” etc.  Mindless material accumulation becomes very similar to this idea.  Some people have so much money that they start accumulating cars like collecting stamps.

So… is there anything wrong with this material accumulation?

Simply answer is “No”. Yet it depends on if this material accumulation can give you true happiness. This happiness should not only for your body and your mind but also your heart and your soul.

If not, you should also explore other goals that will make you feel happy.

Too often, people dive into material accumulation because there are things in life they feel they can’t achieve, whereas material accumulation is the compensation or even escape so that they can feel better.  Continue this process: Keep asking yourself “Why” to further explore what you want to achieve that can make your life truly complete.


With love,

Cecilia Or

Always Remember Why Inc.

Always Remember W.H.Y.

Be Well, Be Happy, Be You