• Jay Logan

Are we setting goals, or are goals setting us?

Updated: May 28, 2019

Recently, I became inspired by a very nice 10-year goal-setting book from Kikki K. You know those really nice ones riddled with inspiring quotes and pretty pages? Upon admiring the book and contemplating my goals, I realised mine had become a bit hazy. A lot had changed in my life over the past 12 months, so perhaps it was time to clarify and recalibrate?

Several days later, I was sitting in a nice and quiet coffee shop. I had my coffee in front of me and it was just the way I liked it. I even had a window seat with a view to help me with inspiration. Then suddenly, out of the blue, the whole plan fell apart. As I put pen to paper, it dawned on me. 

Everything you do is life beautifully expressing itself       through your unique conditioning and body-mind.

It feels like I’m setting goals. It feels like I am choosing what is important to me and what direction I want my life to go in. But in actuality, these ideas and goals are coming through me.

All my years of conditioning are dictating what is important to me, and what I believe needs to happen for me to feel happy and content. In fact, even me sitting here, this very moment, in a coffee shop, is a product of my conditioning.

Perhaps there is no “goal setter”. There is just a complex accumulation of conditioning that results in this “me” apparently setting goals and taking action toward achieving them. In actuality, perhaps there is just a conditioned brain that results in certain values and behaviours taking place.   

I'm not sure if this sounds a little dark and depressing to you? But I can assure you, I found this realisation to be joyful and liberating in the moment. I realised the following:

  1. Your goals and behaviours are reflections of your current values and understandings about life. If the goals are in accordance with your true values, you will automatically be taking action towards them, and if they aren’t, you won’t.

  2. If you have not been taking action, you can use that feedback to get clearer about your true values and your “why”.

  3. This whole experience of “goal setting” is just another experience. In fact, it’s a very juicy experience that is contributing to your development and understanding of life. Just the mere act of writing goals out helps you learn and grow.

  4. If goal setting and values happen of their own accord, then we can relax. No need to stay contracted and stressed about making this or that happen. Instead, it becomes a beautiful play of sorts. We become more engaged with the journey itself vs the outcome.

  5. As you look deeper into the what’s taking place, you will come to see that life is developing you more than you are developing it, and that’s okay. 


We are all taught to set goals and attempt to make life go accordingly so we can be happy and content, but perhaps this teaching is a fool's game?

It makes no sense to me for our happiness and sense of value to be hinged upon external conditions. I believe true and lasting happiness comes about when we see things as they truly are, and are okay with things being as they are. 

You will continue to set goals automatically. And that’s fine. It is the flow of life. You just go about trying to make things be the way you believe they need to be. But to be truly free in that process, you need to see there is no “goal setter”; there are just goals happening. It is not free will being used, but the flow of life through you. 

Everything you do is life beautifully expressing itself through your unique conditioning and body-mind.


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#goals #achievement #todo #lifehacks #lifecoach #spirituality #meditation #wisdom #goalsetting #mindbody

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