There are perhaps two kinds of people in this world. The goal-oriented persons and the floaters. The goal-oriented person has very clear cut goals in life. They have career goals (I want to be a doctor/architect/musician etc), relationship goals (being single/married by a certain age/kids by a certain time/number of kids), financial goals (amount of wealth by a certain age), and goals in every area of their life. They also go about working to achieve their goals. Some they achieve and some they don’t as they don’t control all the outcomes in life.
The second category of people have goals in some areas of their life and no goals in other areas. They might have career goals but will be floaters when it comes to other areas. Some may just have a financial goal and rest of life ‘take what comes” attitude.
There is a third and vital set of people and a lot of people I know fall into this category. People who do not have a specific goal in life. If you pose the question, “What is your goal in life?’ they will be like the deer caught in the headlights of a vehicle. Frozen. “I don’t have anything specific like that” would be the answer. They would have picked up and joined whatever stream of education had appealed to them and was available to them. They will look at what job/wok opportunities come their way and pick that. They are okay with ‘arranged marriage’, ‘love marriage’, ‘semi-arranged marriage’ or whatever is available and convenient. They don’t understand the concept of ‘goal of life’ and it seems very threatening to them. They also feel odd and weird when everyone talks about life goals. They understand broadly that in life one must have some education, some work and meaningful relationships but they are not too concerned with the inner details.
“Am I the only person in this world without any goals in life? Is something wrong with me for not having goals?” These questions bother them. Just because they don’t have goals does not mean they don’t do a good job of what they take up. They don’t have a particular preference but once life gives them something they make the best use of it and give it their best shot and enjoy their work, relationships and life in general.
We might ask the question, “Is it important to have goals in the areas of career, relationship, finance etc?” There is no clear cut answer to that.
Life is so big and vast it accommodates all of us. The goal-oriented person can go about achieving their goals and be successful and the floaters can also be successful in a career, relationship, building wealth etc even though they did not have a goal to start with.
The world, unfortunately, makes people without specific goals feel like lesser citizens. They sometimes feel guilty until the realization comes to them that there is a place under the sun for those who don’t have life goals also. No one can claim to be better off.
The goal-oriented person can be successful and so can the person without specific goals. Some of us have a very clear road in front of us to walk on. Others create the path by walking. Both reach the destination.
Disclaimer: I have been footloose and fancy-free without any life-defining goals and I have enjoyed life as much.