Aiming Low in LifeOct 18, 2022
In life, it is essential to set goals and aim high. However, there are times when aiming low can be just as beneficial. For example, setting smaller goals can make achieving happiness and fulfillment more manageable. This blog post will discuss the benefits of aiming low in life and provide some tips on how you can do it.
To aim low is not that bad.
There's this idea of dreaming big. But, of course, you might already know about having a goal of getting rich, being promoted to the highest position in your company, owning a business that's doing well, or buying a brand-new house or car. Most people will try to aim for these lofty goals and use them to motivate themselves to work hard and give meaning to their lives. The amount of happiness and fulfillment one can get from the success of accomplishing these goals can be incredible. However, reality can set in, and the truth is that not all can achieve these great goals. Many will end in failure and disappointment. It can make someone think life is unfair and burdensome.
There are some things one should realize about such grand dreams and goals. First, nothing is wrong with setting these as things you like to pursue in life. As humans, we have this need to find purpose and meaning in life, and setting goals serves as a way to motivate us and give direction to our lives. However, problems can occur when you have the wrong mindset when achieving these big goals. For one, tying your happiness and fulfillment only when you finally reach your big goal can be a setup for disappointment. You can make all the plans and work hard to achieve your goal, but problems and challenges will greet you along the way. Unless you have a significant amount of resolve and dedication, you may falter along the way and end up abandoning or changing your goal. You will then get disappointed because you didn't meet your initial expectations and targets.
It's also easy to follow and imitate what others are trying to achieve in life, thinking that you may also get the same happiness and fulfillment from accomplishing such things. However, this idea will only work if the things others pursue are also the things that matter to you. For example, suppose you heard that your coworker is working hard to achieve his goal of buying a new car. You see him very happy while telling you about it, and you also happen to know that he is a car enthusiast and likes to travel. So, you decide to imitate his goal and work on buying a new car, thinking you will also feel the same. However, you happen to be someone who doesn't know how to drive well, is not very knowledgeable about places, and don't like traveling. Therefore, there is a good chance you may be chasing an empty goal because you may not be pleased even when you manage to buy a new car.
So what's the take from all of these? Sometimes, we make life more complicated than it is by setting goals and expectations beyond our capabilities and not suit our interests. The result is that we become unhappy and unfulfilled. However, when it comes to creating goals and expectations, they don't always have to be that high. Depending on what can make you happy and fulfilled, you may only need to hit a certain threshold to achieve such feelings. Setting the bar low can work, and you need to figure out certain things to make this goal-setting work in your life.
1. What makes you happy and fulfilled?
Knowing yourself well can go a long way toward identifying what you should pursue in life. You know how big or little effort you need to make to hit something, and you don't need to imitate what others seek. Knowing who you are and evaluating your life every once in a while can help you determine how high or low your goals should be. By knowing what things give you happiness and fulfillment, you can dedicate your time to working on what matters to you, and this can mean not having to go the extra mile if a certain amount of effort is enough to get what you want.
2. Make your goals SMART
If your goals are not SMART, you may have difficulties hitting your objectives. Some people end up disappointed with their goals because they are not within their capabilities, so they take much more than they can handle and fail. Making sure that whatever you are trying to accomplish is within your ability makes it more achievable, no matter how big or small the target is. Utilizing the SMART mnemonic for goal-setting can be even more effective with short-term goals or low targets as you are ensuring that whatever you are trying to do is well within your skills and knowledge; in fact, you may even be overqualified for what you are trying to achieve.
3. Get in the present moment
One noticeable thing with big goals and dreams is that it primarily hinges on the fulfillment and happiness factors at the end, meaning there is one enormous explosion of success and positive feelings once you achieve them. But what about the journey toward fulfilling them? It sure can get filled with many challenges and problems. You can orient your mindset to find bits and pieces of happiness along the way, but you may depend too much on worrying about the future due to the perceived happiness and fulfillment waiting at the end. Sometimes, we want to be happy and fulfilled right now or in the shorter term, and aiming low when working on goals can help. Instead of thinking about the bigger picture waiting on the horizon, why not focus on what can make you feel positive right now? Work on smaller goals first before moving to the big targets. It's easier to feel good when you succeed consecutively, working and finishing smaller goals. And this means you should focus more on the present moment: what can you achieve right now, and what can make you happy and fulfilled in the present? Try to think about such things, and you may not even have to wait long to attain what can make you happy.
Aiming low doesn't mean mediocrity.
Some may shun the idea of setting the bar low and not aiming high for something in life. However, aiming low when achieving goals does not mean lowering your value as a person. On the contrary, it can mean that you know what gives you fulfillment and happiness in life, and you may already be content with what you have. Of course, not everyone can simultaneously be at the highest place of achievement, and not everyone can attain the highest accomplishments in life. However, if it is that easy, we will already be rich and become high achievers. Every person has their skillsets and capabilities, and each of us has a unique perspective of what makes us tick and what's worth aiming for in life. For some, aiming low enough can work for them. For others, working on smaller goals may be the first step toward achieving something bigger and higher in life. What's important is that, in the end, we attain what we want and feel proud and optimistic about our accomplishments.