When I was just starting out, a creepy old guy (about my age – mid-50s) told me life had a built in problem. He said “The problem with life is this.
When you’re young, you’ve got all the time and all the energy to enjoy life, but no money. When you’re in your middle years, you’ve got all the money and all the energy, but no time. And when you’re retired, you’ve got all the money and all the time, but no energy.”
He then went on to say something very profound. “The key to a good life is to figure out how to have all three at once – you’ll make a lot bigger impact in the world around you if you can figure that one out.”
Lifetime Goals are foundational for figuring out the Time, Money, and Energy conundrum, for a very important reason. The definition of a Lifetime Goals is:
A goal which can never be checked off.
A true Lifetime goal can never really be fully completed – there is always something more you can do to make it better, more complete. Any goal that can be checked off as complete is not a Lifetime Goal. Been dreaming about that house on the spit of land at the edge of the lake with the thirteenth tee behind you? That is not a Lifetime Goal – it can be checked off, and once it is, it will no longer be motivating.
The red herring we’ve been fed is that the accumulation of junk is the same as Lifetime Goals. “My lifetime goal is to have $5 million in the bank, a Mercedes, a 6,000sf house, and a nice boat.” No it isn’t. Making money is not an empowering vision, and a goal realized is no longer motivating. This is just making money so you can check off the accumulation of junk. Wouldn’t get me out of bed for three minutes in the morning.
If you’re initially motivated by those things and obtain them, you’ll be sorely disappointed if you don’t have a bigger reason to have them than just having them. The old bumper sticker from the 80s – “He who dies with the most toys wins.” – was wrong. No, he who lives with the most motivating Lifetime Goals wins.
I believe every one of us was made to do something significant with our lives. Have you figured that out for yourself yet? If you’ve got a burr in your saddle or a blue flame coming out behind you for something that really excites you, you know you’re on to something. And everybody is going to want to be part of your life. Nobody runs to catch a stopped train – get yours moving and watch what happens.
You can solve the time, money, and energy conundrum and have all three at once, and make a lot bigger impact in the world around you as quickly as possible.