A question has arrived from a member of a recent online group. I had lightly mentioned during the session that it could be your goal not to have any goals. A later discussion with the person’s family brought up many doubts about the advisability of such a course. Talking with family and friends is always an excellent way to have your doubts and confusion expressed for you. We’ll start with the word “should”, which I didn’t use. I suggest replacing that word with “could”, or “would”. “Should” implies a right or wrong, suggests that if you are “good” you will do it in this fashion. The statement that was made was not that it is wrong to have goals and good to not have goals. And, if you are following along at this point, how crazy is it to have the “goal” not to have “goals”. The statement was made in jest, but also in all seriousness. Duality requires that something be said, but not worshiped as absolute truth. What we wish to do is to investigate what is involved in the whole goal setting process.
One of the ideas put forth by the pro-goal faction is that there can be no progress without goals; for individuals or the world to improve, goals must be set and reached. Is that really true? Let’s take a closer look. To begin with, goals are set by the mind. The mind knows only what it has learned in the past. Therefore, goals can only seek to achieve what already exists. The mind runs on old stories. These goals can only reinforce old ideas about how things should be. People who are truly innovative, who help bring about remarkable change in the physical reality do so by ignoring their minds and what they have been taught. Instead, they observe what is and follow their inner guidance leading them to ideas that have not surfaced before. We could go back into history and witness those like Copernicus and Galileo who ignored what was taught to them about the earth being the center of the universe with everything rotating around it and observed what was to be seen through telescopes. They went inside to find explanations for what they observed. Or look at Einstein whose ideas went counter to everything that was taught in math and physics. He ignored all of that, in fact he was reported to not be a good student at all, being too busy seeing what he saw and going to his own intuitive guidance to find explanations that were not available in the world. New ideas do not spring out of old knowledge.
We could take a sidestep here and demonstrate the difference between being present, seeing what is there, and following inner guidance – all of which is not goal oriented. How can you have a goal about something that you know nothing about? Einstein developed theories that absolutely changed how we look at time, space, and matter. Later physicists have expanded upon these insights through their own observations and inner guidance. Parallel to this were goal-oriented scientists who chose to take these concepts learned from Einstein to develop a weapon that could be used to kill countless thousands of individuals. The old idea of war and destruction was a part of the justification for such goals. Even though centuries had shown that war never leads to peace, they took these old ideas and set a goal that allowed them to destroy two entire cities. It is very difficult to have a goal that doesn’t incorporate old ideas of right and wrong, good and bad, or should and shouldn’t. While humans continue to set goals as they have, nothing is learned. Past mistakes are repeated. War and poverty continue. Environmental degradation increases. There are fears that the ultimate result of human goals will be the annihilation of the planet. It could be. Goals are based on past learning and past learning is wrong and has never worked. Notice we didn’t say partially wrong. Past learning is all wrong – we are not talking of learning that allows one to function in the world, such as operating machinery and computers, cooking and finding one’s way around, but learning what life is about, what is important, and what is true. Something in the past may have been true for that moment in time, but it is not for today, not for now. Those answers lie in the present, not in the past. The past is not creative. It is repetitive. Repeating the same failing ideas will never make them work. A world that is not working cannot be made to work with the same old beliefs and ideas.
Why do you set goals? This is a place where being completely honest with yourself is important. Perhaps you believe that the realization of that goal will bring you happiness, peace, security, or love. I suggest that you look at your personal history at those times you have realized personal goals. Have they brought you any of that, other than the momentary high when the goal is first reached? Is that happiness, peace, security, or love sustained? Does that continue to be felt in your day-to-day life or do you compulsively set new goals to try to get that feeling back? Perhaps one sets the goal of being wealthy. Does that person ever have enough money? Is there a constant desire to accumulate more, perhaps more than could even be reasonably spent? So, the question remains of why the goal is being set. Again, honesty is important. If you are lying to yourself as to the true reason, how can you ever be satisfied? Is it because you want to feel that you have been successful in life? What is success? Who decides that? Whose approval is being sought? I suggest that you look long and hard for the true motivation for the goals you set. If you seek to feel at peace, then be at peace now. There is nothing that needs to be done. Peace is not earned. It is here right now, right in front of you. If you desire to feel loved, then love yourself now. Love everyone you meet today. Love what is happening now. Notice when you are not expressing love. Don’t decide that you need to be different in the future. Let go of unloving thoughts right now. Don’t feed them. One reason why goals fail is they are dishonest. You do not truly seek the realization of the goal; you seek something beyond that. What do you really seek? Where is it? Do you know exactly how to get there? My guess is that if you knew how to get there you would be there now. Why would you procrastinate for a minute? Instead, you have this belief that achieving a goal will bring you where you want to be. But it doesn’t do it. You don’t really have a clue. You are following somebody else’s formula for how your life should be. That formula is not working for them either, but it is what they learned.
Let’s take another sidetrack here. One of the greatest misunderstandings that most minds accept is that you have free will. You believe that you have a choice and your choices matter. You have no choice. It doesn’t matter what you do. Everything is predetermined. It is all planned. It is known exactly what you will do in each scripted moment. You will realize your Divinity, but you will have no idea where or how this awareness will come. Everything is in motion constantly moving you to that realization. You can go kicking and screaming, thinking that you know better than God, rejecting the Divine plan and trying to replace it with your goals. You can fail and suffer. Or. You can open your eyes and see what is before you. You can watch that plan unfold. You have no need to understand why things are set up as they are or why you are here. You are here. Nothing you could try to do will change that. The plan is far grander than anything you could imagine. You can welcome it and enjoy playing in it. Everything is offered right now, not in some nonexistent future. The past doesn’t exist either. Try to find your way to either place. Where are they? There is just the glorious now, all yours without even having to ask. There is nothing you can change no matter how much you might wish to. There is nothing you would wish to change if you truly let your thoughts go and accept what is here.
If there is something that is your special thing to bring to the world, it won’t come from the past and no teacher or teaching or idea can tell you what it is. If the past knew what it was, it would already have been done. It must come from the now. If it is yours to do, it cannot be anybody else’s. How can someone else tell you something that only you can know by being in the present, seeing what is there, and listening to your inner direction? How can anything you have been taught about who you are, or should be, and what kinds of goals you should or shouldn’t have be true for you? Is everyone supposed to do the same thing? Why are there so many different people then? That seems rather wasteful and inefficient. On the contrary there is something unique about you. You don’t discover that by being directed by your mind and all it has been taught from the past. That’s where you find how to be like others, rather than finding your own uniqueness. You learn how to be another crazy person in an insane world. So let that mind go. That’s what true creators do. They see what is in front of them in this very moment. They learn to hear and trust their inner voice, their inner guidance. This is about what to do right in this moment; it is not about goals for a nonexistent future. If there is a goal for you, you don’t know what it is. If there is a goal for you, it is for you and not for anybody else. You have a unique role to play in this awakening process. You find it, not by going where your thinking says you should go – as your thinking is faulty – but by listening and letting go of your mind to see what you are drawn to, what is drawn into your life. Everything is being provided; it is not your work to figure out what to do but rather to follow the trail that is being presented.
Everyone is here in a body with a common purpose. That purpose is to awaken to the truth of their Divine nature, to the truth of who they truly are. You are to be a loyal follower of your purpose. Your purpose is set. As long as you agree to let your life be led by your mind and old thoughts, you will remain asleep. Whatever goals you set are built on sand, not solid ground, and the whole structure will eventually collapse. You will be frustrated in your attempts to realize what you have dreamed of. Don’t take my word for this. Go ahead and set your goals. Give them everything you have. If that works for you…wonderful! If someday you realize this is not bringing you what you hoped for, come back and we’ll talk some more.
As you are awakening to the truth of you, which can only be experienced in the now with a silent mind; as you are now ignoring or no longer following the untruths that you have learned; as you see what is truly in front of you and you work with it rather than resisting it and attempting to create something different; as the Divine voice within you becomes increasingly clear – then you support others in doing the same. If you wish to end poverty on the planet, you let go of all beliefs you hold about scarcity. When you notice those thoughts arising, you do not act on them. You simply notice the thoughts and let them go. When you believe you do not have enough, you manifest poverty in the world. Goals emerge from a sense of not enough. That lack becomes your gift to the world. What is right in front of you is all you could ever need. Goals emerge from a belief that the world is not as it should be, and that it is your responsibility to change it. How has that succeeded? How many people have been trying to change the world and for how long? Every improvement that comes from human attempts is two edged. Every plus brings with it a negative. That is the nature of duality. Technological advances are used in war. Medical advances are used to keep people sick. It’s a big business. Money, rather than being used as a tool to help share what is there, is used for competition with winners and losers. Love is used to control others, to keep them where they are wanted. Again, be honest with yourself as to why you have your goals. Save yourself a lot of time and trouble. If you want to trust that you have enough wealth, do that right now. What do you truly need that is not before you now? Let go of the dreams of accumulation and the future. You don’t live there. Accept the wealth that is offered right now, the beauty of nature, air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, and people to be with and to love. Go directly for what you want. Find it in the now rather than shuffling everything off to an imagined future that never comes. If you want to be happy, then be happy! It is right here in front of you. Look. Accept what you see. Welcome it. There is nothing to change. All that is required is to be present with it, to flow with the ever-changing moment. Notice the insanity of your thoughts.
We will go back to the original question, the humorously offered suggestion to have the goal of having no goals. That suggestion might be softened by saying to have the intention to have no goals. You notice when you have a goal and instead of trying to reach that goal you simply recognize its existence in your thoughts. Interesting. Is the goal something that can be realized now? No, it is off somewhere in the future. The goal is never fulfilled in the now. So where is happiness? Where are peace and love and fulfillment? They are all out there in the future. Where do you live? You can only live in the now. When does the future arrive? Never. Why sacrifice your now, the only place you will ever be, for, the future, where you will never be? But this is what you choose to do when you have goals. The insanity is in having goals. Sanity is living in and loving the only place you will ever be. Seems to be a no brainer, which is a fortunate state of affairs because you just might stop using yours.