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The Goal of Having No Goals

The Goal of Having No Goals

I just watched Leo Babauta and Tim Ferris duke it out over whether or not to have goals (Tim wants them, Leo doesn’t). You can watch the video embedded below.

If I had to pick sides, I’d have to say it depended on which hat I had on at the moment. If I have my Sour Cream hat on, I’d side with Leo: no goals as long as you’re enjoying the ride. But if I have my day job hat on, I’d side with Tim.

For The Cream, I have to admit it: I’m thoroughly enjoying this. A friend of mine from college, brilliant guy, comparative literature double major (with English), scholar and all-around super hero said writing just killed him. He’d write for what seemed like eternity and look up and 12 seconds had passed. Ouch. Then he got into computer programming and the numbers were reversed. He was writing code. The time just flew. It depends on what you’re writing and for whom. That’s how I feel here on The Cream. THIS is the fun stuff, this is where I get to lay it all out and I don’t need a goal as long as I’m having fun and it’s useful to someone. This is more along the lines of “it’s the journey not the destination.” As Monthly Experiments founder John Muldoon looks at it, “Make habits the goal.” Maybe I’ll make goals later. Maybe not. BTW, if it’s useful to me (through the act of writing it) then it’s already passed the test. I can’t lose.

For Likoma, I need goals. In fact, I need more organized, scheduled, grouped, measurable, solid, reasonable, thought-out goals. Ow. Sounds painful. I need goals so I can grow and succeed and measure and compare and improve. If I don’t have goals, how do I know I succeeded? If I don’t have a destination, how will I know I arrived? Right, isn’t this correct? I’m doubting it as I write it. Hmm.

Isn’t a goal-less path just wandering? Is wandering so bad? Tim mentioned a quote from J.R.R. Tolkein:

Not all those who wander are lost.

Is one a better path … or non-path? Can you do both? Are they mutually exclusive?

About The Author


I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.

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Interview on the “Blogger to Author” podcast. “Now I’ve lost all fear of any critique and now I just do it.”


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The Pill

Sample chapter from “Every Single Day.”

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