If you’ve ever done any research about goal setting, success, and achievement, then you’ve probably become aware of the fact that there are basically two schools of thought on the subject.
On one hand, there are people who believe that the true way to experience the most success and happiness in life is to determine an outcome (a purpose) for your life—and then to work toward succeeding at that outcome.
However, there’s another outlook that contrasts this, and speaks to a different mindset.
This alternative outlook says that determining the future outcome (having an overarching life purpose) stifles your ability to be flexible in the present—and that the true way to achieve success and happiness is to just take each day as it comes and to be flexible as you make short term choices that will lead you toward (hopefully) beneficial long term outcomes.
With all of that being said, it becomes obvious that there’s a bit of an intellectual exercise to be done as you examine these two different methods for navigating life and attempt to figure out which one may actually be more beneficial for you.
First off, it’s important to understand (and really goes without saying) that there are many humans who live on both respective sides of the coin.
In other words, there are many humans who subscribe to both of these philosophies, who have a lot of success, happiness, and wellness to show for the journey.
We also can’t ignore the fact that different personality types may be better suited to either one of these different outlooks.
For example, there are some personality types that thrive on planning.
And so, it may be their natural inclination to make plans and to work toward them.
Whereas some personality types may prefer to take life as it comes.
And for these individuals, trying to make plans too far into the future may feel a little bit like trying to cram a square peg into a round hole.
With that being said, it’s also important to understand that there are lessons and elements that we can take from both of these mindsets to help make our lives better, both now and in the future.
For example, if you tend not to be a planner, you may want to consider that taking a little bit of time to craft some future plans for yourself could work pretty well to your benefit.
At the same time, if you tend to be such a rigid planner that you never keep an eye out for the alternative opportunities around you—well, you might miss out on some great things that could help you along in your journey at an even faster, better rate.
So the point of all of this is really just to say:
It depends on how your life is currently going, what your personality type is, and on what you really want for yourself.
If you tend to fall on one side of the coin, and feel that the results haven’t been very beneficial…
Well, it might be worth experimenting with the opposite approach.
Never forget that one of the core human qualities that has helped us to survive is simply this:
As humans, we are incredibly adaptable.
We’re great at identifying problems and adapting to find creative solutions.
At the end of the day, this may be where the real answers lie.
So be adaptable, and solve the problems as they come up.
And you’re highly likely to find the answer that works for you.