When people decide to start setting goals for themselves, they often make the mistake of pursuing means goals instead of end goals.
Do your goals come from you, or do they come from outside sources?
Great question, isn’t it! This article will be all about means vs end goals, how to differentiate between the two, and which one you should pursue if you want to be truly happy.
Means vs End Goals – What Is The Difference?
Means goals, as the name reveals, are a means to an end. They are a means to the end result you are truly after.
Means goals are often the things you think you have to accomplish to be successful, such as earning more money, getting a college degree, finding a high-paying job, etc.
End goals, on the other hand, are the goals you are truly after. The pursuit of these goals brings pure joy to your life. You feel happy even before you attain the goal because you enjoy the journey.
Why Most People Set Means Goals Instead of End Goals
The main reason why people set means goals is that they are way too focused on the ”how” and the ”when”.
People think that they must know precisely how they will achieve the goal and how long it will take them. That’s realistic thinking. I am not saying there is anything wrong with that, but if you want to live an extraordinary life, you must start thinking outside the box.
Focus on the ”what” and the ”why”!
If you know what you want and have a strong enough reason for why you want it, then you become unstoppable.
Let the means unfold on their own and focus on the end goals.
Call it whatever you want – the law of attraction or the RAS, but when you give your mind a command, magical things start to happen. The right people start coming into your life; opportunities arise, events and ”coincidences” start occurring, etc.
That’s just how the mind works. But often, we give our minds commands that do not come from us.
How To Differentiate Between Means and End Goals?
Means goals often have the word ”so” in them. For example, ”I want to get into that college so that I can become a doctor so that my parents can be proud of me”.
Means goals conform brules. In other words, means goals come from outside sources, such as society’s norms, religion, culture, parents, friends, etc.
Means goals are often things that you are ”supposed” to achieve, such as getting a college degree, making a lot of money, getting married, having kids, etc.
End goals are about following your heart. End goals are often about feelings. End goals come directly from you.
Think about it! When you were a kid, did you want to become a doctor or a lawyer? Or were these beliefs installed in your mind by the people around you?
What do you want? What are the things that get you excited just when you think about the possibility of achieving them? These are the goals that you want to pursue.
If you are unsure whether you are pursuing a means or an end goal, focus on your feelings. Does the pursuit of the goal drain your energy? Do you have to force and push yourself to work? If so, you are probably chasing a means goal.
But if the pursuit of the goal is energizing you and pulling you towards it, you are on the right path.
How To Set End Goals?
As I already mentioned, means goals have the word ”so” in them. Focus on the word after the ”so” until you’ve reached the end goal you want to accomplish.
Let me give you an example.
I want to get a raise. –> Why do I want that raise? –> So that I can earn more money. –> Why do I want to make more money? –> So that I can go on a vacation with my family. –> Why do I want that vacation? –> So that I can escape my 9 to 5 job and have more time to spend with my kids.
So what you truly want is to quit your 9 to 5 job and spend more time with your kids! Why would you focus so much on getting a raise (something that may take you even further away from what you truly want)?
Ask yourself WHY you want to achieve your goals until you get to the end goal.
How To Reach Your End Goals?
Remember that the ”how” is none of your concerns. It’s the universe’s job to figure out the ”how” and show it to you in some way. Your only job is to decide what you want, why you want it.
But don’t think that the universe will reveal everything to you without you taking some action.
When you want to manifest something in your life, don’t focus on the thing itself. Instead, focus on the feeling that you will feel when that goal has been accomplished.
You must start acting as if you’ve already achieved the goal. Take on the identity of a person who has achieved the desired outcome. A really great way to do that is through lofty questions.
Don’t get trapped by the means goals. Focus your attention on the end goals even if you don’t know how you will reach them yet.
When you start focusing on end goals instead of means goals, the right people, circumstances, and opportunities start coming into your life.
For those who want to take this goal-setting process one step further, watch the video below. It will show you a goal-setting method called the 3 Most Important Questions.
It completely shifted the way I set goals, and I believe it can help you as well 🙂
Let me know what you think about it in the comments down below. I would also love to hear what ”aha” moments you got from reading this article 😉
In the mean time, check out: