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Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson is a motivational psychologist, speaker, and author. She serves on the Board of Advisors at Columbia University’s Motivation Science Center, and her research on goals and well-being has been published in some of the field’s most prestigious journals.
The truth is, success only brings you lasting happiness and authentic well-being when you pursue certain kinds of goals – the ones that satisfy your basic needs as a human being. Too many of the goals we pursue each day don’t actually satisfy our needs, and leave us too preoccupied and distracted to ever be truly happy. In this course, we talk about what scientific psychologists have discovered about the true nature of happiness and well-being.
THIS WEEK, we're talking about The Goals That Make You Happy & The Ones You Should Avoid.
Let's check out some of our favorite Big Ideas from this week:
Big Idea #1: What Kind of Goals Will Make Us Happy?
Most people feel like achieving goals will make them happy. But wait! That’s not always the case.
When it comes to our well-being, the *types* of goals that we set out to achieve are just as important as if we actually accomplish them.
Some kinds of goals aren’t meaningful, so reaching them won’t bring happiness.
Here are three types of goals to stay away from:
None of these goal are associated with *long-term* wellbeing. They’re extrinsic rewards, largely based on validation and approval.
Big Idea #2: Our Basic Human Needs
Most goals don’t bring lasting happiness because they don’t satisfy our basic human psychological needs. For *long-term* well-being, we’ve got to set goals that lead to these things!
Psychologists agree that we all have these three basic human needs:
Competence – acquiring, developing, and using your skills.
Relatedness – the feeling of connectedness and belonging.
Autonomy – the need to choose and shape our live in a way that authentically reflects who we are.
Follow you heart is not just something that sounds sexy. Take that advice seriously! It dramatically affects your life and well-being. And that’s from a *scientific* standpoint!
The more competence, relatedness, and autonomy you can get, that happier you’ll be! :)
Big Idea #3: Do You Have the Right Goals?
A lot of times we choose goals based on what we think we *should* do. Really stop and ask yourself:
Why am I taking time away from the things that do matter?
Is this really a good goal for me to pursue in the first place?
Are my goals meeting any (or more than one) of my psychological needs?
Write down the 5 or 10 major goals that you’re pursuing right now. (You can go ahead and do that now!) Then ask yourself:
How do each of these goals that I’m pursuing contribute to my sense of competence, relatedness and autonomy?
If the answer is that they don’t, we need to rethink those goals and check our desire for *validation* and *extrinsic rewards.*
The more time we spend pursuing extrinsic goals (which don’t matter), the less time we have to pursue goals that DO matter (and bring us lasting happiness). Create room in your life to pursue the goals that do matter! It’s a necessity for well-being!
Other Cool Stuff
Check out this week's slides for more goodness!
If any of your questions went unanswered, or if you’d like to learn more about something that you’ve heard us discuss, just email Heidi: (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We hope you enjoyed and see you in week 2!
- The en*theos Team