Goals Cause Depression

Many people have asked us to create another New Years post, but there is no reason to do so. New Years resolutions are likely the cause of depression across the United States (no there is no way to scientifically prove it, only basing this on experience). Unlike regular people, we don’t make resolutions, we don’t make goals and we don’t even have a system (although many people have recommended we start a system). We simply spend our time becoming more efficient. With that said, here are several reasons why goals cause depression and why you should eliminate them in general.

How Goals Lead to Depression

Goal Oriented People are Type A and Boring: Make no mistake, we used to create a lot of goals. Every single educational institution will tell you to create goals and “stick to them”. The problem is that this will make you miserable for the foreseeable future as you’ll only focus on that “one goal”… for about three weeks… since you made it a recent resolution. Sure doing an activity to achieve that goal near-term is healthy, however, you’ll find yourself thinking about it incessantly and talking about it as well. (Hint: no one cares about your goals they only care about themselves!)

Therefore, when you’re creating your first new goal, you’re going to be laser focused on it and talk to people about it who won’t have any interest in you achieving the goal. In fact, they won’t even believe you will achieve it because every single person you meet will believe they are better than you. This means your goal must be reasonable in “their world view” otherwise they will shut you down. Why? Well if they can’t do it certainly you can’t! Congrats. Since your goal *seems* to live on another planet from most people you speak with, you’ll be labeled as “boring” or “crazy” as well.

Goals Don’t Lead to Happiness: If your goal is to become a millionaire we can tell you that the day your net worth turns from $999,999 to $1,000,000 won’t make a difference. You will not get some sort of bump in happiness because if you were at $900,000 or something like that, you’ll feel that you’re practically there already. In addition, nothing changes. If you were in shape and a millionaire then you’re a fit millionaire. If you were overweight and out of shape, then you’re the same person with a heavier wallet than before.

Looking beyond that basic piece, you will even suffer from some sort of apathy after achieving your goal. You worked for months or years to get to where you are now and yet you feel exactly the same as you did before (perhaps the actual day was great but certainly not a month after). Now you have to reset some sort of new benchmark which is just a restriction on *potentially blowing past it* if you didn’t have that mental hurdle in the first place! If you wanted a million bucks but changed it to “as much as possible” you’re probably going to think bigger and less restricted (sticking with basic money examples).

Goals Create Frustration: Many goals start off with big gains at first and then fall off as the gains become less linear. All improvement is non-linear (lots of nothing before a big gap up). If you’re going from $0 to $1,500 the speed can certainly be linear. But. As we work up to higher numbers you’ll find that *event* driven income will drive your net worth once you’re in the seven figure territory.

Expecting that your improvement is going to be linear (for practically anything) makes it mentally more difficult to keep going. So not only are you focusing several hours a day to achieve that goal, you’re also using your will power muscles (yes will power is a muscle) just to keep going. If you didn’t have the goal in the first place and simply allocated a specific amount of time to becoming “more efficient” at that category, you’d never have to use your valuable will power muscles in the first place!

Any Goal Worth Having Isn’t Worth Sharing: If you tell someone your goal and they think its achievable (vast majority agree – see regular people) your goal is too small anyway and shouldn’t be talked about. If your goal is unachievable to 99% of people (vast majority disagree), then you shouldn’t bother telling anyone because they will think you’re crazy or boring. Funny how that works, huh?

If you have a real problem you want to solve, you should allocate time to it and let your effort drive the process forward. We don’t know of a single “goal” that doesn’t require time on your part. Even if your goal is to work less and make more, then you’re going to have to sit down and solve that problem by outsourcing tasks and free up time for something else. The planning itself takes time as well.

The crux of the problem is simple. If you want to get better at something you shouldn’t need to tell anyone… it should be a lifelong commitment otherwise you didn’t want it anyway.

If You Miss a Big Goal You’ll Be an Even Bigger Mess: We all know those guys back in school who thought they were going to be professional athletes or become famous musicians. Many of them failed (maybe you know a few famous ones!). Then they proceed to complain about not making it and living in the past…  explaining how they were extremely good compared to their home town… (Which is not a good benchmark by the way). Oh. Eventually they will exaggerate how good they were to make themselves feel better about being well past their prime.

Announcing a Goal is just as Bad as Motivational Seminars: You’re doing the same thing as the people who watch motivational videos. Sending a quick jolt of adrenaline (that won’t last) about all the cool stuff you’re going to do and how you just needed to “chew through that brick wall man!”.  Avoid these guys like the plague. Anyone who needs to read about someone else’s success to feel better about themselves should go back home to mommy and get a big hug.

Allocation of Time Not Goals

We already know what the primary rebuttal is going to be. “But everyone should have goal posts and deadlines otherwise they won’t stay on track”. We disagree. All this really means is time allocated to an activity. We’ll break down several examples:

How Can I Sell More Product (Not I want to Sell $100K more): Okay, in this case you have to quickly review how much you were able to generate last year. How many man hours did you personally spend on it and how many hours did you pay for help? Then calculate how much more time you’d need to do it to at minimum accomplish this (a annual increase). Then take a step back and say “How can I reduce that amount of time”… now you’ll spend a few minutes a day ruminating about this as you try to solve it (calmly), while adjusting your schedule. You now have the *maximum* amount of time needed to achieve this “goal” and instead… You have framed this as a *problem* related to time. Solve the problem.

How Can I Lose Weight (Not I want to lose 10 pounds): Another easy one solved by time. Calculate how many hours you’re spending at the gym and how many calories you’re consuming. Keep it simple and tally them up and just reduce and increase from there. Since you’ve now framed this into a *problem* (I need to reduce weight) you can now adjust how much time you spend attacking this problem. Another easy one solved by a calculation and you won’t even have to adjust the amount of time per day you’re spending on this problem.

How Can I Have More Friends (Not I need one new best friend): As a quick reminder, there is no need for some huge crew of friends, you’ll find that you have a handful of real friends and the rest are pretty much hoping you’ll fail. That said, this problem is solved without a goal as well. All you’re really saying is you want to allocate more time to your social life. Stop and think about what type of person you want to be around, a basic frame work. Once that’s done you simply spend more of your social hours in those locations. Again, you’ve framed this as a problem instead of a goal because you’ll increase the number of friends you have over a period of time if you simply spend time in the right markets.

How Can I Speak a New Language (Not I want to be fluent in a language): Instead of assuming that you’ll be fluent in a specific time frame (very difficult to predict fluency), you can say you want to speak a new language. This can mean basic Russian, conversational Russian, Fluent Russian or Native Russian (where you know the slang as well). We don’t know where you are in the language curve and it doesn’t matter… this is now a *problem* that needs to be solved. You now sit down and review where you are and what tools you need. If you know nothing, you allocate time to free courses online, if you have a basic understanding you should probably make a couple of trips to the country and buy some books at your reading level (and practice)… so on and so forth. You’ll find the same dynamic at play, this is a function of time.

Conclusion: To recap this, instead of having Goals you’re going to frame your life into problem solving. Problem solving just means the allocation of time to specific topic and potentially resource constraints (then you need to throw money at it to help solve it). Now remember, we’ve stated that goals are not useful because you should never speak about them. Problems are the same way. You don’t talk about your problems to people (they don’t care anyway) so we’ve reduced the chances you’ll even talk about it. (Yes, yes, if the person you’re speaking to is someone you need to help solve your problem then of course you have to tell them what you’re looking for).

Actionable Steps 

– Figure out what problems are most important to you and allocate time to sit down and solve them

– Never tell anyone what your problem is (again, they do not care)

– Find a minimum amount of additional time needed to help solve your problem (see improvement long-term)

– Do not create goal posts as they will be a negative reminder of “not making it yet”

– If you can’t find time, you didn’t care about it anyway

There you have it. A short rant on goals and instead we’ve outlined a game plan that won’t require a “New Years Resolution” ever again. We’d like to thank all those guys clogging up the gym that are now starting to give up. We noticed the dismay as they didn’t get what they wanted immediately and suffered depression within 11 full days! New Years resolutions cause depression by around February 14 every single year (not for our readers though!).


As Usual No Questions.


  1. Survival 2 Success says

    The point seems to be…don’t have specific goals, just have general themes.

    Instead of “Increase revenue from $100k to $150k”, make it “Increase revenue while maintaining (or improving) margins.”

  2. Leo says

    Good Read, I’ve been introduced to this concept and it makes sense, but it’s definitely an art and hard to apply, especially since setting hard goals is what I’ve been doing my whole life.

    There has to be some sort of way to keep track of progress though? That’s the tricky part. Like if you want to lose weight but it “isn’t happening fast enough” how do you know when to adjust? Is 1 pound in a week to be treated the same as 1 pound in a month? Do you set some sort of standard? Or do you just continuously review and try to improve and forget about the rest?

    I know you don’t ask questions but just putting it out there. I definitely agree that setting hard numbers is only a detriment, and makes it about chasing an outcome. I guess your “goals” should align around some core life principles that you believe in or want for yourself, and then make sure you’re actually following that.

  3. Mike Pica says

    I understand your premise and agree with it for the most part. Goals can cause frustration and depression. And goals make you value the endpoint not the journey.
    But I would be wary of taking such a hard stance against goals. Anything worth the effort of consciously improving in should be difficult for you. Strictly allocating time might make you become more efficient at it but less effective. Sometimes you need a target to evaluate the effectiveness of your methods. For example, I am trying to learn how to do a handstand. I did allocate 15 minutes per day to do this and I got very efficient at combining it into my workouts. But I stopped making progress and had to re-evaluate my methods. If I didnt have this goal, I might not have known to re-evaluate. Not the best example but I think the point can be deciphered.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Sure if you really wanted to do a handstand for example that’s just a goal and is mentally easier to give up

      We would say “improve hand stand abilities” sounds like you just hit the plateau stage and we wager a year of 15 minutes a day will result in success. If you really want to do it then just increase to 30 minutes

      Haven’t set goals in years but progress has been exponential!

      A journal for example would tell you that you stopped getting better (no change in efficiency because no improvement from 15 minutes) then you go back to point one which is sit down and think about what the problem is. If it’s time or form or something, allocate a few minutes to record yourself attempting it and then make a quick conclusion.

      Feel free to have goals we still hate them and aren’t going back, ha!

  4. Mo Gotti says

    Goal = constant pre-success failure. Scarcity mindset. Side effect; you develop tunnel vision.

    Yes, the train will mow you over.

    Scott Adams in his book “How to fail at almost everything and still win big” has a chapter dedicated to just this subject. 95% overlap with what is being said by WSP..

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      While we agree on not having goals we read that book (a great one we recommend) and 100% disagree on “systems”.

      There is no real system, because no problem worth solving can be put into any system and succeed. That’s like knowing which traffic sources to buy and what ads click through and convert based on a “frame work” you’ll get smoked in a year or two once preferences change and you’re stuck like a deer in the headlights.

      Anything that works for you shouldn’t work for someone else in big matters. In small stuff like fitness sure that’s a system, in real life problem solving it will never work on a mass scale (otherwise everyone could do it)

      Efficiency is not a system but a way to avoid stagnation and make it practically impossible for improvement to end. Systematic approaches imply that it can be copied by another person. That should be impossible

      A final way to frame it is every problem is the “system”. Like college education. Once you figure out how any system works it’s easy to win. The key is figuring out each new problem or system without wasting any valuable time. Then you tell no one how you did it unless you’re stupid enough to give money away for free!

      • Mo Gotti says

        Laid that out well. Nuance and idiosyncrasies will take a sterile (albeit effective system potentially i.e fitness) and make them valuable.

        Really on the individual, with top tier help a times, to figure it out. Found that to never be linear.

        I had been wrestling with the concept of implementing systems like Adams. It weaves nicely with his Moist Robot Theory, making humans programmable, but did not hold up.

        Thanks for articulating your point above.

  5. YBsir says

    Spot on as usual, thanks WSP!

    ‘Guide to Rational Living’ that you’ve recommended guided me towards this realization. However it takes time and active, regular practice to switch gradually from ‘obsessive goal-oriented’ mindset to a more productive and healthy one.

    Two books also worth looking into – ‘Deep Work’ by C. Newport and ’80/20 principle’ by R. Koch. Both contain actionable steps and are leading you to the same mindset.

    Thanks for the great stuff!

  6. AC says

    Fantastic article, goes very well with your article 1 year ago on new year’s resolutions and 5 things to do on each area (business, health, relationships).

    Another more sutble side of the coin “people don’t wanna hear about you” is when they pretend they care, but they downplay any milestone you achieved.

    A couple days ago I hit a major milestone for me and I had a quiet solo celebration at my home, eating a fantastic meal, drinking beers and taking the rest of the day off. Had the best time ever celebrating something!

    Looking forward to your book.

  7. says

    The most important word in this whole article is ” time” . the more you invest it on resolving a problem, the more efficient you become and the less time you will need to do something or solve a problem in the future.

    I will buy your “efficiency” book without a hesitation , it will save me precious time and I thank you for that!

    As for the goals , I would rather have a life vision that I’m permenantly working on than a resolution! Or ” goals”. Resolution are for the weak , since “everybody ” is talking about it , it isn’t worth trying…

  8. YM says

    100% agree – some other points

    – if you set a specific goal and a “deadline” to with it, especially business related you will get angry and frustrated and depressed when delays happen. In business, especially online business speed is not *always* in your hands. No one cares about your artificial goal deadline but if you have a mental specific deadline that *must* happen, you will believe they should and get frustrated.

    -focus on four things to gauge improvement 1) efficiency 2) measured improvement (friends you like, girlfriends, $ in the bank 3) enjoyment of life in general 4) self reliance (knowing you can handle anything) —> even if you’re at the bottom but improving in all of these areas at the same time in topics you care about it will be hard to be frustrated no specific goals needed

    -while goals aren’t good, thinking big is good don’t let no goals turn you into thinking about how to make $50 online instead of how can I hit a niche and scale to make $xx,xxxx in a day

    -what works for me not sure if for others is think about what areas matter to you, what’s your ideal situation for that area, what type of things would you be doing and type of person would you be to be in that situation, and just start being that person daily

    -have no goals but set specific actionable improvement items daily

    Great post, I love this topic. Used to say I want to make $1m by this age, made no sense. A better way to think is I want to be a person by the end of the year that has the ability to make 1m in a year.

  9. says

    In short,you should measure the process,not the outcome.

    When setting goals,they are measurable,but the process to achieve them is not ,and this means inefficiency.

  10. Wannabe VC says

    Good post. However I’m not sure I agree with this entirely.

    You still seem to have “goals” you are just using a different name, and framing them in a certain way. Instead of saying you want to lose 10lbs, you say “How can I lose weight?”

    Whether you set a specific target or not, it requires the same thinking and if you set “goals” intelligently, you will end up with the same answers and course of action, more or less.

    I agree with your logic of not wanting to set a concrete number because it may lead to “depression”. However with the right approach, I don’t think it matters. Here’s what I mean:

    Personally, I will divide up my life into different areas that I want to improve in, or that I find important (Most of the readers will probably have similar areas of interest). Then, I’ll set goals 18-months out, this is a short enough to visualize and long enough for ambitious projects. Now here is the most important part… take your goal and multiply it by 5 or 10. Now your goal may seem unrealistic to you. Whether it does or doesn’t is not the point. You need to put in the work and thinking required to hit this maximized target, and the great news is, even if you fail (most likely) you are either going to hit your initial target, or surpass it.

    I think it’s a nice alternative to what is written in this article, you either:

    A) Avoid specific numbers by focusing on becoming more efficient
    B) Avoid specific numbers by being unrealistic and trying to hit targets anyway
    I’ll quantify the targets in an excel spreadsheet, and if I’m batting 60-80% on any given goal, I find that I’m achieving a lot. If you hit 100% it’s not ambitious enough. You want to think in terms of “projects and targets”… what projects do I need to engage in, and what targets need to be set for them that will give me the highest probability of improving a specific domain of my life/career/business/ to a satisfactory level. This allows you to see the steps you need to take.

    Anyway, that’s my take, hopefully someone likes it. Interested on what the Playboys have to say about this. Sorry for the essay length post lol.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      By saying you’ll have 18 month goals you are limiting your own potential because you don’t think anything more is possible. So we don’t think thats a good move but up to you. If you could reach that metric in 6 months you won’t do it because you’ll think the idea is too risky… even if all signs point to saying it’s worth the risk.

      • Anon1 says

        Thiel had a bit in zero to one about setting up a twenty year goal or a life goal, and then seeing if you could manage it in 6 months. People aren’t good at estimating their own potential.

        Reminds me of Tom Hardy’s character in inception

        “Mustn’t be afraid to Dream a little bigger, Darling”


  11. Playing Catch Up says

    You missed one minor piece of information in all of this, crabs in a bucket. Go around telling people of your dreams, you’ll be lucky if they don’t care. Most of the time they will drag you down, slowly try to talk you out of it, and then try to scheme against you.

    They see you trying to get hot girls, they will come in and cockblock you, tell her about that one embarrassing situation you were in. Tell you why it is wrong to judge people on appearance and how all hot girls are evil.

    They see you trying to make more friends, they’ll spread nasty rumors about you, especially if those friends are perceived as higher status people by them.

    They see you trying to get into a promising career, they will talk you out of it and tell you how terrible you are. IE: All people working on Wall Street are evil.

    Show off ambitious goals, you’ll make a lot of enemies who will spend time scheming against you.

    • Anonymous says

      In the workplace this is key.

      In sales and the owner of the firm has lulled the sales team into paying them just well enough to not make any of them want to leave.

      Myself am looking towards higher paying avenues here soon.

  12. RE Guy says

    “New Years resolutions are likely the cause of depression across the United States (no there is no way to scientifically prove it, only basing this on experience)”
    I’ll try it deductively:
    Depression is prolonged sadness.
    Sadness is a subjective evaluation of a “loss”.
    Thus setting a goal and not reaching it would be experienced as a loss, causing sadness.
    Energy expended in talking about the goal with others increases this, as the loss is now shared and relived, and shame is added to the mix.
    The energy expended in talking with others, along with other things non-action oriented such as “thinking about it” i.e. over-planning would take away from the energy that could be spent for taking action to achieve the goal itself.
    Also, that wasted energy could have been used on secondary goals, which if achieved, would be experienced as a “gain” and create happiness (as it happens, have to stay on the grind and keep achieving to keep feeling good).
    Further, if so much energy is used/wasted in pursuit of the primary goal that also secondary goals or other areas of the life aren’t maintained, that would also be experienced as a loss.

    And on the opposite side, achieving the goal.
    You mentioned the negative goal post effect, unnecessary stress (relative to being process oriented).
    And you mentioned that once reached a goal would require a new goal to work towards.

    I’m not sure if you’ve read Flow (the psychology of happiness), a book that Mike Cernovich and I both like, but it’s explores this also (not that you need it; great article by the way). And my definition of sadness comes from Emotions Revealed, again Mike and I are fans.

  13. William says

    These guys nailed it when it comes to interacting with other people and what you aspire to do. After college there are two ways to go: up or down.

    UP consists of busting your ass and solving problems at work or elsewhere, exercising financial discipline, cutting back on partying, nixing out social media/television, hitting the gym hard, so on and so forth. A.k.a. doing the opposite.
    DOWN consists of religiously watching Sunday, Monday, Thursday night football (LOL), eating like shit, complaining about work/life balance, crying over politics and the news, obsessing over social media. A.k.a. following the herd/fast track to becoming a loser.

    It is easy to see which of your friends (likely will be 9/10) will go DOWN. Should you decide to mention you are, let’s say, not going to drink for say 30 days. Their heads will explode and they will come down on you like a pack of flying monkeys. Furthermore they will attempt to bring you down to their mediocre level and ask asinine questions like “Why the fuck would you do that?” or “What’s the point if it’s just 30 days?” (Mention the Quintessential Man’s 30 day Challenge and they’ll really flip.) Better to keep quiet about these matters and go about them on your own time. Sans motivational/hype videos.

    TL;DR – Go against the grain and keep it to yourself.

    • Wannabe VC says

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself. Knew this would be the result so I tried to be discreet in my actions. Might have turned out worse lol!

      Hard to maintain old friendships when they were predicated on partying. Best strategy I could offer for anyone interested is to not cut people off unless they are really sucking value. Just do your thing and learn to say no. If those people decide to leave, they weren’t worth it anyway. Not a real friend.

  14. GC says

    Thanks for taking your time to write this up, along with everything else on the website.

    Much appreciated… Take care.

  15. says

    Scott Adams had a book last year that talked about this. Create systems, never goals, its allocation of time on certain activities that move you forward.

    Goals alone keep you stuck in place.

  16. RadDuck says

    You don’t exactly argue against goals; rather, you argue against a certain type.

    You argue against high-level, future-oriented, target quantifying goals (“Lose 10 lbs by x time”).

    But argue for actionable, present-oriented, process quantifying goals (“Everyday, spend 1 hr. in the gym and eat only meals x and y”).

    However, the post title will trigger regular people (lol), so I get where you’re going with this.

    This makes me wonder how deep and accurate into time management you guys get. Meticulously planning out and later tracking how you use your time is /very/ Type A, which contradicts your recurring theme of “Type A people are boring”. However, you need an accurate quantitative feedback system to make your “allocate time” idea work. Not a question; just please clarify.

    On a positive note, this post lines up well with your earlier recommendation of the book on Stoicism by William B. Irvine. The future-focused goals you argue against would prevent you from being content with the present, which is the entire point of stoicism.

  17. Anonymous says

    Two takeaways (the rest was excellent, thank you):

    1. they only care about themselves
    2. every single person you meet will believe they are better than you

    Pretty much sums “it” up.

    • Wall Street Playboys says

      Ha! We just outlined a way to get there for anyone which means there is a factual way to do it… which means even regular people could do it if they wanted to

      They don’t.

      We’ll explain more “Abilites vs Facts”

      • Student says

        But you talked about having a Framework is useless….Outlining a method of achieving one mil by 30 is precisely that, a framework.

        Personally, I find mentally constructing a basic skeleton (ie framework) to achieve something I desire is worthwhile as one has an idea how to go about achieving it. And since it is a ‘general’ framework it is adaptable. It is modular, things can be added/removed depending on how the situation changes preventing one from getting trapped in stagnation by a changing world.

      • Wall Street Playboys says

        Seems like we need to repeat ourselves, a million bucks in 10 years isn’t impressive the post was meant to be a “it’s easier than you think” post.

        Anything that can fall into a frame is not impressive because anyone can do it.

  18. Robert says

    The primary point seems to be that “goals” are black and white and failing to meet them results in “failure”, while the time spent trying to reach the goal is itself a perpetual source of stress that prevents you from functioning properly.

    That being said, not sure how your approach is different. Yes, “problem-solving” is a great perspective, but winners hate not being able to problem solve. I feel the same way when I can’t meet a goal or solve a problem-like dog shit. Curious to know how you guys would deal with this.

    Either way, risk is involved! My theory is that anything worth doing will have a chance of failure…if it weren’t, normie idiots would pile on it as quickly as they’d buy a sapphire pendant on QVC.

  19. says

    I don’t know but I see smart goals useful. Here are two real examples:

    “Make 2017 Your Best Dressed Year Ever.”
    “If I Failed 10X Today, I Won.”

    I think I can live with those.

  20. MB says

    Massive value dropped as ever, thank you.

    I’ve spent the evening following this advice by creating an annual strategy review.

    Link here: http://www.medicalsecrets.info/2017/01/15/my-annual-strategy-plan/

    [Similar to previous times I have linked to this site, this is obviously a non-monetised site that I use for irregularly noting down my musings in an anonymised fashion.]

    As I write in the review, I’m very pleased with the progress made last year, but as ever there is work to be done.

    It was difficult to decondition myself from writing specific goals, but I think I managed it for the most part.

    I had to pause for a moment as I decided to share this here. Why am I sharing it? My impression of the comments on your blog is that there are a good bunch of inspiring lads here, and I suppose it feels good to be able to give back a bit of my own writing – also to show you that there are people out here following your advice – not blindly, but with conscious reflection. It also ties in with one of the problems I am aiming to solve – Problem 5: Creativity – “How Can I Create More Than I Consume?”!

    Most comments/pointers will be warmly received – I might even answer the odd question.

    Best wishes

  21. Recent graduate says

    Setting a goal implies that you know the solution to the goal you are going to set already and that you think it’s the best and easiest solution to the problem. So you set the goal.

    Thus most goals cause depression because most people simply try to tackle the goal with their first solution in mind. Often times that first solution will not work as planned causing both frustration and people to give up on their goals to keep their egos intact.

    Instead, like WSP said, a problem solving based approach is much better. A goal is simply a disguise for a first solution you were going to try, but since first solutions never really work out the way you think, going all-in committed on that solution is never a good idea.

    In my opinion, I find that when your first solution doesn’t work out, breathe, calm down and then question yourself why. Then try the solution again, and be mindful of what’s going on. Then try a slightly different solution and reexamine it, either by reading a lot more about the subject or changing one variable. Rinse and repeat, slowly and methodically (life’s a marathon not a race, a cliche). Then a while later, all of a sudden, the dots may connect and a solution appears.

    Thus the “goal” might take months or years to accomplish.

  22. Honey says

    Having a goal is nice because its something which is needed for me to work. But at the same time i’m flexible and accept everything that comes with/without the goal.

  23. Hans says

    The gym goers are the worst. My gym is clogged with people trying to get “in shape” whatever that means.

    Fitness is a process and life style. People see it as something that you attain and afterwards go back to whatever you were doing before. They fail to realize that people who are in “good shape” have a series of schedules and habits that enable them to maintain that state of being.

    Really what it comes down to is regular people want something for nothing. You want to be in shape and are too tired to exercise after work? Means going to bed early so you can hit the pool at 5:30 in the morning and not staying up too late at night.

    Want to learn a new subject? It means hitting the books and putting in the hours.

    Everything costs and the only thing that matters is discipline and effort applied in the appropriate direction.

    What frustrates me (and I find very isolating) is how static most people are. They’ve gone to college, found their job (not career) that they will stick with until death, and that’s it. They make zero effort in improving themselves, doing cool stuff, or acquiring interesting skills (all of which are easily possible. You can become a pseudo expert in most fields by reading 5-6 focused books aimed at the graduate and undergraduate level Not easy, but not hard either.).

    I didn’t at first believe this blog that eventually I’d start “lying down” to people, but I find that I have to. Discussing my finances would make them envious, and talking about the things that I study on my own time just makes them glaze over.

    The funny part is that they are the ones who won’t stop talking about their “work” even though it’s incredibly dull. I never mention what I do, or purposely downplay it. The world’s a strange place!

    Anyway, thanks for running this blog, playboys. It’s nice to know I’m not entirely alone. 🙂

  24. Anonymous-23 says

    Many thanks for all you’ve done here on the site. You changed my life in 2016. I was spinning my wheels without the right emphasis, putting too much pressure on result rather than process. Results starting to flow.

  25. John says

    Two months ago I began to work to get my driver’s license. I don’t live in the US and here it’s hard to get and it can costs thousands of €€€.

    I tried this approach : instead of telling myself “I MUST GET IT”, I told myself “every day I’m going to do X”. No emotional investment whatsoever. I did it everyday and I got my driver’s license 2 months later, while most people need 6 months to get it.

    When I got it, it felt like it happened out of thin air, without much efforts needing to be done. I didn’t spend hours everyday thinking on how to achieve it or worrying; I spent a few days tailoring a plan that I knew would work if I followed it and then, I just did it without asking myself questions.

    Now I’m onto applying this way of thinking/doing to my next goals. But I won’t tell you what they are, because you don’t care.

    By the way, a guide to rational living and the ancient art of Stoistic joy are great. Thank you. Would love more books recommandations!!!

  26. says

    OK, good point about allocating time and making the process methodical.

    I’m hoping that by coaching HS tennis 5X a week, it will allocate at least 30 minutes extra to hit with the players and burn a couple hundred calories.

    If my allotted 5 hours of exercise a week is coming up short, then I’ll just make up for that time by getting out of the damn house.

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