I came across a BIG idea recently. In the book “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind,” Vishen Lakhiani talks about the difference between means goals and end goals.
Means goals vs End goals
A means goal is motivated by the thought that it will lead to something else in the end. It is the means to how you get something else. A means goal can be one of many possible paths to reach an end goal. For example, a means goal might be saving money so that you can go to college. In the video below, Vishen uses the example of pursuing a college degree. If the motivation is the benefits once it is completed, it is a means goal. If the motivation is that you love education and want to learn, it is a end goal.
End goals speak to our hearts, and are more meaningful. (a little ironically) When we pursue a means goal, we believe “If only I had this [fill in the blank] I would be happy.” With means goals we are seeking future benefits, sometimes to the detriment of present happiness, and based on guesswork about what will make us happy that can often be wrong. With end goals we directly experience happiness as we pursue something that we love. Setting end goals leads to a journey that makes you happy.
“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.” -Alfred D Sousa
“The point is not the end of the journey…Remember to sing and dance along the way.” –Alan Watts
Set End Goals
To set end goals, consider The Three Most Important Questions from Vishen Lakhiani.
- Identify how you want to contribute.
- Think of experiences you want that will lead to positive emotions.
- Decide how you will grow to create these experiences and make these contributions.
Setting End Goals is a huge shift! Suddenly, goals are about what you CREATE, not about what you HAVE! End goals still need to be attainable, but making this shift is empowering and you have a lot more fun on the journey. You can’t buy happiness, but you can create it when you follow the BE MEASURING practices and set meaningful end goals.
Vishen Lakhiani on the difference between means goals and end goals…
When you know how you want to contribute, you know the right direction to go. There may be many possible paths to take, different means goals to achieve the end goals. The biggest obstacle to a meaningful journey is not knowing how you want to contribute. Discover how to Uncover Hidden Talents and create a value statement that pinpoints what you do and why.
In the following video, “Why Happiness is the New Productivity,” Vishen talks about the Four Different States of Mind. He calls these: 1. The Negative Spiral, 2. The Current Reality Trap, 3. Stress & Anxiety, and 4. Bending Reality. To Bend Reality, combine happiness in the present with a vision for the future to find flow. Make shift happen by creating something now while moving forward, compelled by a vision for the future.