Why did I do that?
Updated: Jan 31, 2020
Ever set a goal that seemed meaningful to you, but upon achieving it, you weren’t satisfied?
'Why did I do that? That wasn’t all I was hoping it would be.’
Financial goals often fall into this category. There is an urban myth that when John D. Rockefeller was the wealthiest man in the world, he was interviewed:
‘Mr. Rockefeller. You’ve amassed more wealth than anyone currently living. Surely, you’re qualified to tell us how much money it takes to satisfy a person?’
‘Just a little bit more than he has. Just a dollar more!’
The story is unverified but the message rings true. Just exactly how much more is open to debate but surveys done to study the matter conclude we need about 23% more than we currently have.
Test this figure for yourself. Pick a financial measure that matters to you: Your annual salary? Your net worth? Your last bonus perhaps? Now, add ~23% to it and assume it’s yours!
Pretty nice, right? Satisfying? Yes! I like that!
The problem is, you may get 23% more. Then, let just a little time go by. Soon, you’re going to want another 23%; then another; and so on. It becomes addictive, ultimately leaving you unsatisfied because it’s always just out of grasp – a chasing after the wind.
Work for money as your ultimate goal and you’ll always be disappointed. Money is a wonderful servant, but a cruel master.
or money will most assuredly
Please don’t misunderstand: money, itself, even the pursuit of a financial goal, is not necessarily ‘bad’ or inappropriate. It’s usually neutral. The goals we set in life, financial or otherwise, are all ‘neutral’ when it comes to personal satisfaction. Their achievement may, or may not, satisfy us personally.
It’s really not the goals we pursue that ultimately matter. They’re just the whats we go after.
It’s the why behind the what that will dictate whether or not the achievement of your goals will ultimately fulfill.
If your why isn’t big enough, if it isn’t deep enough, if it isn’t sufficiently connected to who you are at your core – to your identity, then when you achieve your goals they likely won’t prove meaningful to you.
What goals are you pursuing?
More importantly, why are you chasing them, and why does that ultimately matter to you?
Distill each of your goals down to the deepest, most compelling, whys you can find, and your true priorities will ultimately become very clear.
What are your big whys?