Goals: Means and ends

December 15, 2018

GIVEN what is happening right now to the economy, we ought to be grateful for our jobs. I firmly believe that our work is what you make of it. But certainly there are situations wherein there is a misfit between one’s aspirations and job conditions.

Ask yourself: Why did I get this job in the first place? Then recall how you felt when you were being interviewed for the position and after sitting by the phone all day long, gotten the call that you landed the job. Surely you were filled with excitement and expectation at that time.

If you now find this job so boring or even unacceptable, what happened along the way? Either you have unmet expectations or your desires have changed. People normally allow negative experiences and memories to fester in their minds. This then simply perpetuates the cycle of despair. This does nothing to resolve the past and worse, it diminishes our control over the way we use the present.

If quitting is not a reasonable option, then it would be to your best interest to view your job in a manner that is pleasant for you. One example is to make a distinction must then be made between “End Goals” versus “Means Goals.”

“Means Goals” are, simply put, a means to satisfy more deeply-rooted desires, which are the “End Goals.” For instance, you want a promotion. But why do you desire to be promoted? For the additional income? In which case the reason is to meet your expenses. For the additional sense of power and control? If so, why? For prestige? For respect?

Once you are able to articulate and distinguish between your “End Goals” and “Means Goals,” you would realize that you do have the option of modifying your “End Goals.” For example, you simplify your lifestyle and thus make your current income sufficient to meet your needs. Or you seek alternative routes to attaining your “End Goals.” For example, if you want a promotion to be respected by your peers, you realize that you can earn respect in other ways.

Also, make a distinction between “Away-From” and “Towards” motivation. When the alarm clock rings every morning, do you wake and rush in order to avoid being late for work and risk being terminated? These are “Away From” motivation.

Or do you eagerly embrace the morning because you recognize the blessing of another opportunity to learn new things and exercise your talents? These are “Towards” motivation. Pursue “Towards” motivation.

We do not have to get upset simply because a situation is upsetting. An individual has the power to choose to associate “pleasantness” or “unpleasantness” to a person, task, or situation. William Shakespeare had a point when he once said: “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Have a great week ahead!

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