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An alternative to having goals

I have written lots of times before about my own goal setting process and how that can be helpful in improving ourselves, getting better at the things we want and being more deliberate about what we want and where we'd like to be.

But, several people that have read this or that have talked to me about this feel that it could be a bit overwhelming to go through this. And the bigger complaint is that this can sometimes take out the little joys that comes out of serendipity and a carefree life, not to mention that guilt this adds when we start to do not so well against the goals that we have set for ourselves.

And I agree with them. To a certain extent. After all, our happiness is inversely proportional to our expectations. And goals are a different way of looking at our expectations.

So I've been thinking about what could be a viable alternative to active goal setting which doesn't make our lives very structured, but will still let us get better each day even when we take every new day as it comes.

And the answer seems very simple.

Hang out with people that inspire you.

We are social creatures after all, and are heavily influenced by those around us. Someone famous said something to the effect of 'If you don't define what you want to do with your life, others will.'

Although this was said with a negative connotation to it, there is a positive side to it. And the positive side is apparent when the people we hang out with and spend time with inspire us to do better and be better.

This is why parents are finicky about who their kids end up making friends with. This is why going to a reputed university or working at a top company is a good career move (we will have smart peers that inspire and push us to do better).

If you aren't enthused by the prospect of setting yourself goals and working towards them, just take the alternative to only spend time with people that inspire you.

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