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Living Without Goals

Living Without Goals

There are these two guys right? They are Americans (of course). They have written the book on minimalism – literally. They are Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn. Their book is Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life.

I personally am all in favour of minimalism. However, I don’t need a couple of American authors to tell me how to do it. But some people may. They may have seen the pursuit of more material possessions for the sake of showing people “how well they are doing” as a good thing for a time, and then someone showing them that there is a different path to follow is enlightening for them.

But anyway, one of these guys wrote about how he went 100 days without goals. On the one hand I like this. Why? Because it challenges the status quo. I like stuff that questions the established orthodoxy.

Do we need goals, or have we been programmed to just accept that goals are necessary as a truth that is unquestionable? I think that’s wonderful to question stuff like this.

So I read the article with an open mind. However, as I said, on the one hand… On the other hand I disagree completely with the idea that you can live without goals. I actually believe that even if you say you don’t have goals you are playing a game of semantics. People who claim to live without goals, when you look at what they do, I would suspect that a lot of their activity is just goals by another name.

You can’t achieve anything without goals. To even write a blog post you have to have a goal of writing it. If you say to me, “Oh no, I didn’t have a goal – I just wrote”, I will call bullshit on that sort of talk.

Even going on holiday is a goal. “I am going to Europe this year”. That is a goal. You then need to take the steps to achieve that goal, such as booking flights and accommodation. How else are you going overseas? Through telekinesis?

It appears to me that someone says something like this and next thing you know others are jumping on the bandwagon. In this case, the minimalist bandwagon. It appears that the capacity to live without goals has become a part of the orthodoxy associated with minimalism.

I rejected the contention that you could live life without goals once I had read the article.

Let me explain though the way I look at goals. I find that for most people, goal setting is something externally imposed by a boss. The goals are what the boss wants.

Things change when you set goals for yourself. Once the goals you have are aligned with your values and what you want to achieve for yourself, you get the impetus to achieve the goals. The goals inspire you and excite you and draw you forward. That is what goals are for and why I do not subscribe to the living with no goals concept.


Image Source:  Julia Nogueira – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,




About The Author


A guy obsessed with stripping down whatever field he studies to get the optimum return from effort expended. Sort of like Tim Ferriss, except with zero fame.

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