Whose Goals?

It’s really hard for me to judge people by their own goals, but I think it’s an important thing to do. I see someone chomping down on McDonalds, sitting behind a desk, playing solitaire on their computer, and my first thought is that they’re screwing up their lives. And, according to my goals, they are screwing up their lives. But who knows what their goals are? Maybe they’re living exactly in line with their goals.

I know how it feels, too. I remember back when I was in school, and to a certain extent I would be judged by my test scores and by how much homework I completed. But I never really cared about those sorts of things– I might care about the consequences back home if I did poorly, but it never meant anything personally to me if I got bad grades.

I used to eat crappy food. I mean, REALLY crappy food. I once ate cereal with gravy because the cafeteria was out of whole milk and I preferred gravy to the heresy of consuming skim milk. My friend Jake decided to start eating healthy food, and I made fun of him relentlessly for it. I’d bring a Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwich over to his place and taunt him while I ate it. Well, turns out he was on the right track with diet WAY before I was, and I was the idiot making fun of him for it. How terrible is that? You’re trying to do something different, and your friend makes fun of you for it.

To a lesser degree, I used to think people who worked a lot were making a mistake. Now I work harder than most of them and I realize that, once again, I was wrong. The thing about being wrong on life goals is that you generally have to figure it out for yourself, at least if you’re stubborn like I am. Now when I see people doing things that I think are dumb, I try to remember how many 180 degree turns I’ve taken in areas of my life, and how the next one might lead me to exactly where they are. It never seems likely, but that’s the definition of a 180 degree turn, isn’t it?

I write mainly for people who have similar goals to me. When I say rather extreme things like “weekends are for suckers”, I don’t really mean that everyone should be working one hundred hours a week like I do, but that if you’re trying to work hard and tackle big things, you probably should. What makes humanity so great is that we’re all like weird little experiments, trying to figure out what works best. We’d probably all be a little better off if we let evolution decide what works, rather than constantly trying to judge it ourselves.

I consider anyone to be a success who reaches their own goals, regardless of how far they are from my own. If they strive to sit on a beach in Thailand for the rest of their lives, and they actually end up there, that’s great. If they’re hustling and trying to build a startup like me, that’s great, too.


Here are a couple new SETT blogs to check out: Austin K Wood (long time community member) and TravelNWellness. Also, DRODio and Sebastian Marshall‘s community sections have really started to come into their own lately.

Overall I’ve been stunned by how well SETT is going. My favorite thing ever is to check out someone’s new site for the first time and see a bunch of conversations going on with other SETT readers and bloggers. It really feels like we’re building something big, and a huge factor in that is what you as readers have added to the conversation.

Photo is “Homeless Millionaire” by David Choe. It’s the first original work of art I’ve ever bought (and given the wall space in the RV, probably the only one for a while).


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