This week, we’re starting the life goal virtue series where we’ll cover how to create, pursue, support, and accomplish your life goal.
What Is A Life Goal and Why Is It Important?
Your life goal(s) are/is the task(s) you wish to accomplish before you die. Everyone has missions they want to achieve whether it be to write a novel, travel the world, learn a new language, what have you. Your life’s task gives you meaning and ensures you leave an impressive legacy after you die.
Purpose is important. Humans crave meaning, and when we don’t have it, we become anxious and lost. By developing a life goal, you’ll have a firm sense of self, an understanding of where your life should go, and a reason to get out bed in the morning.
A well-defined life goal helps us understand where we should spend our time, energy, and efforts. Therefore, we will cover the 13 virtues and how reflecting on them will give you the guidance you need to accomplish greatness.
This week, we’re starting with Courage, Magnanimity, and Zeal.
Deciding A Life Goal – Courage, Magnanimity, and Zeal
Why are we starting with these three virtues? Our first mission is to define the life goal you wish to set. Therefore, you’ll need the courage to take on the burden of greatness. You’ll need magnanimity to seek noble aims. And you’ll need zeal to remain passionate about your dreams and desires.
Without these building blocks, you cannot start. Without courage, you’ll shrink from your duty to give your life purpose and meaning. Without magnanimity, you’ll choose a life goal which isn’t challenging or admirable. Without zeal, you’ll lose passion and give up midway through your journey.
Courage – Be Willing To Create An Impressive Legacy
So, you want to decide on a life goal? First things first: are you brave enough? A life’s task will challenge you and ensure you’re always working at top capacity. Therefore, you need to investigate whether you’re brave enough to have a purpose.
Are you willing to give up your creature comforts? Are you ready to radically adjust your life to pursue your goals? Are you willing to keep track of your actions, mistakes, and failures? Are you willing to accept you should have started earlier but didn’t, and you can’t make up for lost time? Are you ready to admit that you may die before you accomplish what you set your eyes on?
Coming to terms with reality requires courage. There’s a reason few people seek to be the best version of themselves – it’s hard, tough, bloody, and soul-crushing. However, it’s necessary. Otherwise, you may feel lost, useless, and depressed at your lack of accomplishment and purpose. Thus, you need to accept the task set before you. Have the courage to develop the life goals you need.
Magnanimity – Your Life Must Be Noble, Driven, And Purposeful
Now that you’ve accepted the pain of having a purpose, we’ll create your purpose. Here are a few questions to consider:
- What am I passionate about? What do I love? – I love my family and the joy they bring me. Additionally, I love stories and the way they can inspire individuals to greatness (e.g., Superman, A Lesson Before Dying, or Fallout 4).
- What am I good at or what would I like to be good at? – I am a gifted writer, but I also want to learn to draw. Through these skills, I will provide for my family while telling better stories.
- What virtues do I admire? – I’m a big fan of loyalty because I was never shown it as a child and I wish to provide loyalty to my family. Additionally, I’m a fan of magnanimity because we have to live to the fullest.
Remember that your life goal must be noble. We are not created to pursue a life of meaningless comfort. We are created to sweat, bleed, and struggle towards greatness. Your life goal should make you the best version of yourself. No matter your background, intelligence, race, class, gender, sexuality, what have you, you have to focus your energy on becoming the best version of yourself.
Don’t be a child. Don’t complain and whine about life being hard and unfair. Don’t waste your time. You’re dying. Create the life goals which seem impossible then roll up your sleeves and get to work anyway.
Zeal – Have Passion For Your Life And The Goals You Want To Accomplish
Now, we have your life goals. Let’s make sure you want to do them.
We want to choose tasks that will elevate us and push us to greatness. We also want to set goals which require more internal strength than external dependence. That being said, you’ll want goals you are genuinely passionate about.
When we feel restless, hopeless, and lazy, then we have chosen the wrong goals. Goals we hate will never be fulfilled. Your goals will challenge you, force you to burn off the useless aspects of your character and move you away from the creature comforts of the day. Thus, if you chose goals you hate, you will fail to keep your momentum through the pain.
Zeal Helps You Fight through Doubt And Pain
Without passion, you will refuse to meet your daily commitments. You will always set standards and fall short. Additionally, when you are pursuing greatness, you will remain in a constant state of learning. Feeling like a beginner can get tiring, discouraging, and draining.
Therefore, you need zeal. You need a blind passion for the life tasks you’ve been called to do. Look over you one to three life goals. Do you feel excited when you see them? Can you imagine every sleepless night, every pain, every disappointment you will experience trying to accomplish these goals? Do you still want to move forward despite all the suffering? Good, then you have zeal.
Zeal is your “why” and will give you the energy you need to overcome any “how.” When you’re inspired to fight, you will fight no matter how much pain you’re in. When you feel like you’re going with the motions, then you’re more likely to give up on your dreams when facing a challenge. So pick the life’s tasks which create a burning passion in your heart, mind, and soul.
Make Your Life Count
Action without morality can be dangerous. We shouldn’t plow through life acting without regard to what is preferable, moral, or virtuous. Virtue is operating in an ethical way that respects the people around us while adhering to the concepts and ideas that promote the best within us. Thus, “kicking people while they’re down” is not a noble life aim because it isn’t loyal, generous, courageous, or magnanimous. Additionally, such actions undermine the heart and soul of an individual which leads to a lesser and more painful existence.
“Always seek to help people when I can” is a nobler life purpose and ensures we’re strengthening our community and ourselves.
I’ve written extensively on life goals and their importance to the individual. I believe having a life goal provides you with purpose. This purpose is necessary to carry you forward when life is tough as well as keep you motivated when life is relaxing. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
You Cannot Thrive Without A “Why”
Your life needs a “why.” You need to understand, deep in your soul, why YOU should care if you’re alive. Money, sex, material goods, and other shallow things will not fill your soul with purpose. This is why you need a life goal that challenges you, supports your community, strengthens your willpower, and helps you become virtuous.
Next week, we’re going to set plans that help you accomplish your life’s tasks.
- What are your one to three life goals? Why did you choose these goals? Do they challenge you? Empower your community? Inspire you?
- Do you have the courage to face your inner demons and society’s disapproval? Do you have the emotional stability to deal with disappointment? Create a list of the worst events that could happen as you pursue your life’s goal.
- Create a list detailing how much better your life would be if you pursued your life’s goal. Compare this list to the list in actionable number two.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash