Setting meaningful goals

Male hiker with a backpack at the top of a mountain

One of the most common and puzzling questions asked to youngsters is, “What do you want to become when you grow up?” Or “what is your aim in life, what are your goals in life?” Interestingly, often the one who asks and the one who is supposed to answer have no clue as to how important this question is.

I have come across many youngsters who do not have a clear idea of their aims in life or what they want to become in life. Some of them are interested in more than one field and some are still in the process of discovering their interests, talents and passions.

I find such youngsters remarkably interesting. This is perhaps the most confusing, and at the same time, one of the most precious phases of their lives. If they can discover their true calling without falling into the trap of pressures exerted by parents, teachers and friends, then they can look forward to a truly happy and satisfying life.

Goals are of different types. Short-term goals are those goals that you wish to achieve within a year. Medium-term goals have a timeframe of one to three years. And goals which are expected to be achieved within the next five years are called long-term goals.

You must keep in mind that your goals should involve things that you really like to do, things which you do well or things which you believe you can do well. If you have the right mix of passion and hard work, then nothing can stop you from achieving that goal. That is how a newspaper boy becomes a nuclear scientist and People’s President like A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. Or a shy boy with stage fear becomes a renowned orator and powerful leader like Winston Churchill. It is crucial that you make your goal the centre of your life. As Swami Vivekananda puts it, “Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life — think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves and every part of your body, be full of that idea, and leave every other idea alone.”

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Dr Rositta Joseph
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Dr Rositta Joseph

Dr Rositta Joseph is Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK), Former Visiting Fellow, University of Edinburgh (UK), Assistant Professor of English, GITAM Deemed University, Vizag.