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Happiness is Not a Goal, It’s a By-Product


This is the second to last week I’ll be sharing excerpts from a new untitled book I’m writing for college students on stress prevention—finishing up the series about goal setting; a simple concept, but here we’ll talk about how to be more efficient with how you set and complete goals.

“One must be frank to be relevant.”

~ Corazon Aquino, former president of the Phillippines

Relevant. Your goals should be applicable to either where you are in your life or what you want out of life, or both. When your goals have relevance, then they matter and putting in the work toward achieving them becomes exciting.

Going back to the analogy of starting an ice cream truck business, you wouldn’t start this business by researching every known fact about the Model T; you would enlist your friends and family for support, talk to your Economics professor, and so on.

Achieving your goals is often a team sport—as you’ve already seen in the previous examples being touched upon, support is needed to complete a goal. Relevant goals will excite you and then others to help you complete your desired objective.

A relevant goal will have the following attributes:

  • It’s a valuable use of your time.

Eating ten pints of soft serve ice cream in a day is not a relevant use of your time whereas learning how to fix a soft serve ice cream machine is.

  • It can be coordinated with other efforts or goals already being worked toward.

If while on the road to starting your ice cream truck business, you wanted to sell t-shirts with your brand name on them to help raise awareness and profits for your company, that would be a well coordinated and relevant goal to set.

  • It’s the right time in your life to work on this.

A very easy example to give would be a twenty-two year old college student trying to run for the office of U.S. president. It ain’t gonna happen. You have to  be thirty-five years old to run. However, you could make it a longer term goal and in the present get a masters degree in public policy or intern with a local politician.

  • You are the right person to take on this task.

What happens if it’s not you who takes on this goal? What will your life be like? How will it affect other people if you don’t follow through? If the future world looks a little bleaker if you don’t complete your goal, that’d be a good sign you’re the right person for the job.

Next week will be the final week on goal setting, after which we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming :)

P.S. Looking to help or donate after the devastation of Super Storm Sandy? Here are a few places* to donate time or funds:

*courtesy of the NY Times

P.P.S. I’m doing a portion of my one-man show The Gospel According to Josh in New York City to benefit The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Saturday, November 17th at 10:45 a.m. Tickets are free and location and registration is here: . Feel free to come for the show and stay for the educational sessions afterward…or not. I look forward to seeing you there!!

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