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Stop Freaking Saying “GOALS” – a Manifesto Against the Instagram Goal Trend

Stop Goals

I made a very big mistake the other day.

The other day I logged on social media, and I was going through Instagram in particular, because I just got it a few weeks ago.

So I’m scrolling through and I see a girl I know, and she comments on this video, right?

The video snapshot is this guy with his girlfriend’s butt cheeks hanging out her thong, and he’s carrying her in some tropical location on the beach.

And underneath it all I see is one word:

“GOALS”

Then she comments later: “Relationship goals.”

And I groaned.

Can somebody please tell me what the hell is going on with this “goals” trend and how we got so misguided?

Saying “Goals” Means You Really Don’t Have Fitness & Life Goals of Your Own

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I mostly see this vain kind of culture on Youtube and Instagram, and I see people filling their newsfeeds and brains with a lot of the same old.

I see people commenting on couple’s pictures where it’s the same super jacked dude, with the super fit girl, and her butt hanging out her g-string.

…And all of it makes me wonder: that’s apparently your life goal?

You want to be the girl with her butt hanging out for the entire world to see – to post on social media, for other people you don’t even know, to somehow get a self-esteem boost… and show how cool she is?

That’s your life goal? Of all the things you could do in your life?

And then there are people posting pictures of their cars and their money on the bed, this kind rapper B.S. that’s supposedly cool now.

Then I see other kids – and this really scares me – all of these millions of teens and twenty-somethings on social media, they see that and they think, “GOALS.”

Your goal is to go to the gym two hours a day, buy a Ferrari, and then sit on the damn beach?

There are Mother Theresa-like people out there, healing sick kids, preventing people from dying… and your goal is to get a girlfriend whose butt you can film and put on social media?

And all of this is to prove something to people you don’t even know?

This really bothers me, and it really scares me, if this is an entire generation of people who are not concerned with doing something that’s actually important – that really matters.

I don’t see a single person going and seeing a doctor (for example) transform the world, help millions or thousands of people not die from an illness, and say “GOALS.”

“THAT’S my goal. To help other people not die.”

I don’t see anyone see a published author, somebody where it’s their life’s work to write a book or multiple books that impact people, and choose to emulate them.

Or they read JK Rowlings biography, or listen to her Harvard Commencement Speech – and they think, damn, those are my goals.

I don’t see it.

I don’t see people saying “I want to go from being where I am now – maybe it’s broke and unhappy – to the multi published author that’s helped millions of people and has become very successful.”

That’s what I want to see people say “GOALS” about. Something that actually matters.

The Misguided Lies of Social Media and Your Goals

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I don’t see people seeing a master painter, martial artist, or anyone who is incredible at their craft and modeling them.

I don’t see people saying, “I want to be a master at what I do. I want to be the best there ever was.”

I don’t see that, and it scares me.

I see people worried about the same low level B.S. – going after the wrong goals, and most of us, the producers, the creators, are feeding this myth.

Feeding this illusion.

They’re all complete ego goals.

They mean nothing to the world.

When you die, no one is gonna care – besides maybe your instragram followers – what your girlfriend’s butt looked like in her swim suit on social media.

No one will care what your abs or biceps looked like.

No one is going to care what your ferrari looked like. You’ve contributed nothing to humanity or the world.

And the reality is that if those truly are your goals, if your goal sheet is filled with these things, chances are you probably won’t even get there anyway.

The Secret to Setting Fitness and Life Goals That REALLY Motivate You

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Shallow goals have shallow roots. Look, there’s nothing wrong with trying to get fit, or get a nice car, or get a pretty spouse, or be attractive yourself.

But it really worries me and scares me that if this is the world I’m growing up in now – if this is the world I am in, and the future generations are seeing this and that’s all they aspire for – I don’t think they’ll achieve their goals anyway.

I think this generation will be entitled, scared, and wanting all these things they think they should’ve gotten from god, the government or mommy and daddy.

And because they aren’t getting those things, they’re going to be depressed, bitter and negative.

There’s a second reason here, though. The second resaon is that these goals don’t drive you, because they’re not what you truly want.

They’re want you think you want.

Instinctively we see the girl, the ferrari, the car, and we think, “that’s what I want.”

They’re the typical fishing lures of the ego – desire, money, power, and fame.

But if I had to ask you why – why do you really want those things – maybe you realize you just want attention.

Maybe I realize I just want to prove to my friends, to mommy and daddy, to society, “look how successful I am now, you high school idiots.”

You have to look at what’s really behind it – and what’s behind why you actually want this.

What you’ll often realize is that what’s behind the goals is nothing – it’s just empty.

Suicide, The Right Goals, and Ego

One of my best friends committed suicide last year, who was a super successful, high-powered, ambitious founder and CEO of his own company.

And I think one of the big problems was that he was too focused on ego, and on what the world thought of him, rather than just doing the great work he loved.

This happens to thousands of founders worldwide, which is called founder suicide.

These entrepreneurs kill themselves because they’ve temporarily failed, and they feel like they themselves are failures and it’s catastrophic.

Actually, what I think is that maybe they were too concerned with what the world thought of them in the first place.

That may be harsh, and that may sound like a awful thing to say in a situation like this, but I think there’s more than an element of truth to it.

I really think that if you’re driven by the right things, success and failure in the short run don’t do anything to you.

If you’re really driven by love, the love of wanting to create something great, the love of wanting to go help those kids somewhere else, the love of wanting to be a master of your craft, the love of wanting to create a book that might impact someone else’s life, that didn’t exist before you came on the planet…

When you’re motivated by THAT, and not this B.S. you see on Instagram and social media, when you’re motivated by that, that’s when you go on and blow up.

That’s when you go on and do big things.

Thoughts on this?

– Alex

 Images: Working out woman

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5 comments… add one

  1. Yes. I hear what you’re saying. Your article points to some very deep obstacles to leading a more meaningful life, and maybe even following a spiritual path. In Buddhist teachings this is known as the pursuit of hedonic pleasure; obstacles in the form of the 8 worldly dharmas (aka the 8 worldly concerns), that take up the space in our mind and lives, leaving little room for the pursuit of genuine happiness and lasting well being. These 8 worldly pursuits are as follows:

    *praise and blame ( we seek others praise and to avoid blame at all costs)

    *pleasure and pain (seeking pleasant stimuli: the best food, entertainment, cars, drugs, sex, etc. while fearing even a moment of boredom, let alone the pain of injury or illness – note the enormous pharmaceutical industry. And maybe the obsessive pull of internet, social media, texting…)

    *gain and loss (a never-ending pursuit of acquisition: wealth, bigger houses, better cars, expensive jewelry, clothes, furniture & decor. More and better friends, a nicer, hotter, girlfriend/boyfriend etc. Holding onto what we have with the uneasy feeling that at any time we might lose it – hint: we will. Always looking for more and more in our external situation. Whatever we acquire lends itself to an empty satisfaction when the thrill wears off so we seek out the next fix, the next new thing. It’s never enough. Moreover we suffer dread of losing all the ‘stuff’ we worked so hard to acquire, let alone the intolerable loss of breakups, divorce, the death of loved ones, even ourselves sooner or later).

    *good reputation and bad reputation ( the pursuit of fame, accolades, seeking the attention, admiration, affection, and love of others – even those we don’t know. Fearing the disrespect of others, dishonor, infamy. Doing all so that others think well of us, while striving to avoid criticism like the plague).

    Reply
  2. This really made me think. I hate to say it but you’re right. Too many people have empty, indulgent goals these days. I think society is teaching everyone that this is just what you’re supposed to do. Whatever feeds the beast of vanity, overindulgence, and ego. I admit that I’m pleasantly surprised by this article. It is refreshing to hear such honesty.

    Reply
    1. Yeah, it’s a tough truth these days Christine. Glad you agree 🙂

      Reply
  3. I really enjoyed reading this. I think as someone who believes in this too and someone who coaches people to get to this, we get overwhelmed by the world around us who pushed people away from this. It’s really hard to help people connect to this! Any suggestions on further readings from what inspired you to write this, would love to know how you help others to get here!

    Reply
  4. Well Moth Theresa was a bitch

    Reply

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