Striving for a Healthy Relationship to Goals

“I think the sweet spot in life is to persue your dreams and take care of others with your whole heart while not getting fixated on or stressed out about the results. In this place you live with purpose and passion, but without losing your balance and falling into a sense of pressure, strain, or depletion.” – Rick Hanson

This quote is from a book I visit daily called Hardwiring Happiness. While I’m not crazy about the title* of the book, the content has been useful to me. I appreciate the “sweet spot” that Hanson describes and I would like to feel it more often. But it’s hard.

Artists and Inventors are constantly setting goals. They think in terms of changing things. Things at work, at home, or out there in the world are never good enough. They can always be better.

And while it’s fine to have goals, the anxiety that’s too often tied to their outcomes is draining. If I’m always wanting X result, then the energy that goes into that wanting takes away from the energy I have for loving my partner or my friends or family or even loving my own work.

And since “loving with our whole heart” is the most important thing, I want to have more energy for that and spend less on wanting. The wanting that wakes me up at 3am or makes me anxious and drains my energy, that’s the part I want to let go. That letting go doesn’t come naturally. It’s constant work. But work I’m committed to doing even though many days I fail.



*I strive for peace, not happiness.

related: Bright Sided: How Positive Thinking Is Undermining America

Rick Hanson’s book, Hardwiring Happiness, is here