Fuck your goals!
Maybe to experience pride, maybe for a greater mission, maybe to follow a tradition (which includes cultural/media brainwashing), but typically, goals are a sign of discontent, of insecurity, of scarcity: you want something because you lack something. And you distract yourself with a goal.
We all know that the path is the goal, but how can you focus on the path when you do have a goal? Isn’t that dishonesty, self-deception, or highly ineffective at best?
Focus on skill development!
That’s how you can make the path your goal, and focus truly on the process—because skill development is the process to any goal that’s worth pursuing. And which goal is worth pursuing?—Mastery.
Mastery is a goal that can also be a path because it’s an unreachable, abstract ideal. Economically, it’s an anti-goal. Mastery is not some item on a list that you can check off. It’s more like a principle. Mastery is a way of life that can manifest your True Will.
When you know your True Will, you know which kind of mastery you want to achieve. Then you can focus on skill development and practice, practice, practice! while being fully immersed in the process, while being blind to material or external goals.
When you obsess over skills, you stop worrying about money, fame, success, whatever. The only thing that matters is your skill development, your art, your craft.
How does this look like in reality?
- You don’t focus on the number of sales you’ve closed (money = goal), but on the art of selling (marketing = skill).
- You don’t focus on the number of people you’ve entertained (fame = goal), but on the art of music (performance = skill).
- You don’t focus on the number of chicks you’ve banged (notch count = goal), but on the art of getting laid (seduction = skill).
- You don’t focus on the number of guys you’ve defeated (knockout = goal), but on the art of fighting (martial arts = skill).
Skills over goals is quality over quantity and doing over having. But why does this matter?
It’s all about confidence
How can I say, “Fuck goals” and at the same time “Make mastery your goal”? Isn’t the quest for mastery, too, a sign of insecurity?
Yes, I think it is. Personally, I feel that the main reason why I strive for mastery is that mastery is the ultimate form of confidence: the better my skills, the more confident I am.
Goal achievement may boost your ego or even give you a feeling of true pride. But pride is still just a feeling—a fleeting emotion. Pride may be one mechanism by which your skills make you more confident. Yet even in your greatest humility will you gain confidence from the skills you’ve developed. Familiarity and proficiency are the keys to real confidence.
Now ask yourself this: In what areas of your life do you lack confidence? Which skills would make you more confident? How can you develop these skills?
(Tip: Always focus on the most straightforward answer! For example, if you lack confidence hitting on chicks, then weightlifting skills will only make a minor difference. Still, fitness gyms are full of insecure boys who want to gain confidence among girls through bodybuilding. This doesn’t make any sense. Set your priorities straight!)