The Danger in Goals

What is the point in attaining anything, if it does not bring you joy?

A simple, cliche question but the one that is most important in considering the setting of goals and achieving of outcomes.

Human beings do not desire objects directly; we desire the states of being those objects grant us. A luxurious car is only incidental to what is actually worth a million dollars or more; the sensation of having something difficult to create, and difficult to obtain. That pleasure is, of course, the real prize. If it were not, the million would be spent on simply the fastest, most intensely practical form of transportation, rather than a meticulously engineered work of art.

Consider this fact when aligning yourself towards a particular end goal. What is the state you are after, the thing which the object or desired condition will bring you? How will you feel in that state? How long will it last? What will be the thing to break it, or strengthen it?

Most importantly, consider if your goal is truly the thing necessary to bring about that state. Most of the time, our goals do not grant us the states we hope for, and if they do, those states last only a moment.

 

The Utility of Gratitude

Anger and fear, in their many manifestations, are the greatest source of error and bias in the human mind.

In so far as we can free ourselves from the tyranny of these emotions, we can improve our processing of stimuli. Fear and anger must be faced head on, and they can not be compromised with. They cannot be appeased or reasoned with. And though they may be channeled into productivity, what they produce seldom leads to fulfillment or happiness. In the same sense, a farmer may use chemicals to produce a single year of excellent growth, but in the process destroy the field for future generations.

There is one emotion that fear and anger can not survive in the presence of.

If you can conjure up this emotion at will, you will no longer be ruled by anger or fear. This emotional panacea is gratitude. It is perhaps the least experienced emotion of all. Rarely do we feel grateful when we receive something. Instead, we move from bliss to boredom, quickly establishing any improvement in our lives as the new standard, and not taking any time to experience the joy of receiving. 

In this department, organized religion has tremendous value. It personifies the chaotic behavior of the Universe, providing us with the concept of an actual entity that we can thank, or blame, for everything that happens to us.

The concept of God gives us someone to be grateful towards, which is necessary if we are to feel gratitude. Thus it is necessary to believe in a “God” is we are to have an optimal relationship with the Universe. This does not require literally believing in an omnipotent entity that behaves outside the laws of the universe.

The scientific definition of God as the collective behavior of the laws of the Universe is adequate, as long as emotionally we view the Universe a benevolent entity, that acts in a way that if beneficial to itself as a whole.

We must view the Universe as something worth thanking, talking to, and feeling emotions toward. If you are not comfortable praying, your belief system must be adjusted. If you believe on an emotional level, that the Universe is random, and not benevolent, you will not be able to feel truly grateful.