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Trajectory and State

A month ago, there was panic all around looking at 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 a day globally. Today, even though we are seeing close to a 100,000 new cases a day, there is an air of cautious optimism that things are starting to come under control.

When you look at the numbers as is, today's number of new cases a day are ten times that of what we had a month ago. And if we only look at that, there would be a cause for alarm. However, when we look at where it is headed, the growth was exploding a month ago while today it is much less steep and is possibly flattening out.

Therein lies the difference between state and trajectory.

While it is super hard to miss what is more important in this scenario, we end up focusing on the state and not the trajectory in many other cases - like where we are in our careers, where we are in our fitness levels, etc.

This is where having goals helps.

Goals provide a perspective of trajectory. By definition, goals are a desirable future state and we end up comparing our current state to the future state and charting out a trajectory. Without goals, we tend to focus a lot more on the state as it isn't intuitive to identify a trajectory.

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