We’ve Been Shooting at the Wrong Goals

Some say goals are good, others will even argue they are great. Yet an achieved goal can land us in the hot seat to wondering what in the world we’ve been doing the last 15 years of our life.

When we were little, we found we were better at something than most of the other kids around. It felt really good to be good at something. We received praise and shelves full of trophies. People were quick to paint out the path for us. The path leading to greatness.


We gazed down the road ahead and saw way down and around the corner–success. It looked amazing. The people that hung out in the success group became our idles. They had fame and fortune and a sparkle in their eye. If only we could hit the mark–then we would have something to really be proud of.

Research began as questions flew out of our mouth left and right. They gave us encouragement and told us how wonderful it would be once we got there. Smaller steps were put in place to help keep us on track, and with each new step came another period of praise.

We put in so many hours. Our blood, sweat, and tears.

The years passed and what once seemed like only a distant goal was now our reality. Finally.

_MG_4230Shockingly however, the track continued and we were expected to move on. They didn’t tell us about this part. Our goal wasn’t the end all, it was just somewhere in the middle.

“If only they would have told us.”

They showed us where the goal was. They made it so appealing. They lied. They left out the rest of our story.

Life doesn’t start when we hit a milestone or an achievement. Life is continuous and there is always room for improvement. If we set a goal for ourselves, we are selling ourselves short. Because we are capable of so much more.

You got into college, now what? You made the college roster, now what? You got married, now what? You had a baby, now what? You wrote a book, now what? You got the job, now what?


Life isn’t going to make us happy when we achieve a status, but only for a short while. The end goal isn’t achieved until we are looking down the face of death, happy. That’s the true goal right? Isn’t it happiness we’re searching for?

Happiness is ready and available today. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, and certainly not 25 years from now. So take today for all it’s worth, not trying to rush to the next step, but gracefully working hard with the hope for tomorrow. Keeping our eyes on what is to come after the goal–let’s prepare for that.

Happiness lies in a conversation with a friend. Happiness lies in a high-five. Happiness lies in a good book. Happiness lies in a run down the sandy beach. Happiness lies in a nap. Happiness lies in a good marriage. Happiness lies in an act of kindness. Happiness lies all around us.


Goals can blind us from the success we’ve already accomplished and what’s to come next. Let’s not find ourselves ill prepared as we arrive at a goal on the fast track. Let’s take our time not to miss out on something along the way. A little knowledge here, a little wisdom there.

Expect the goal to be attained because we are amazing like that. Then we will be thankful we took our time getting there because the best is yet to come. We are ready.

Have you reached a goal to find it wasn’t what you hoped it would be? Have you thought about what your goals are going to bring you? 

This entry was posted in Encouragement, Freedom and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to We’ve Been Shooting at the Wrong Goals

  1. Andy Oldham says:

    Great Post! this reminds me of when my kids were in high school and then college and they would always comment on how they were tired of school and could not wait to graduate. I would remind them to enjoy that part of life because when they did graduate they would go to work for the rest of their life and there was no graduating from that. A couple of years ago my son reminded me of my words and told me just how true they were. Enjoy each moment in life and look forward to the next never forgetting past special moments. Blessings!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lightthelie says:

      You are a great dad! Thank you for sharing. You never know what people are going to remember, so how special your son remembered those words. Teenagers have it tough. It’s very easy to put a carrot in front of them to get them going but we need to show them what comes after they get the carrot too. Growing up it was always “play college soccer” for me. Then I found myself playing division 1 soccer and didn’t really know what was next. It wasn’t as glamorous as it was made out to be! So many scenarios in life that can relate. Blessings to you as well!!


  2. A Teenage Poet says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. You made some excellent points, things I never really considered.

    As for your question, a small example is school. I aim to do extremely well on everything, and place so much value and emotion in what my grades are. If I don’t do as well as I want to, I am severely disappointed, But when I achieve the marks I want, I’m happy for a moment and then it’s nothing the next day. Doing well in school is important, but I need to start realising there are other things in life


    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you! And I don’t think you’re the only one when it comes to school. 🙂 I was there once too. It’s really easy to put our happiness on grades because it’s a way to measure “how well” we’re doing. It is exciting to get an A, but it isn’t everything. Just realizing that everything is connected.. What you’re doing now is preparing you for what’s next, but at the same time there will always be something next so we need to fully take advantage and enjoy our current situation. Never rushing ahead! And not measuring our success based off of the successes of others.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jisbell22 says:

    This is another great post! I read this at lunch and have thought much about it this afternoon. Your perception on this issue is so valid, one that I had never even thought of before. That is why I love your posts so much, you continually make me think and help me gain insight and wisdom in so many areas. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      That is one of the great things about blogging.. It’s an environment where we get to be inspired and inspire! Your posts have so much wisdom and insight as well. I look forward to seeing them in my feed! A friend of mine is focusing on getting married and it made me realize how important it is to take your time building a solid foundation so that after the marriage ceremony, it is still something to look forward to each day. Same applies to many other milestones our culture wants us to achieve! But rushing into something can really take away the full joy there is to be had 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Marla says:

    I love the way you think! It is true, so often I hit a goal, but I’m not satisfied by it. In fact, sometimes I rush through the goal to get to the end, completely missing the joy along the way. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I am also so glad I found your blog! I look forward to reading more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you so much Marla! I was thrilled to have found your blog. It is right up my alley 🙂 It is easy to think that we will be happy once we reach a certain point, but life isn’t just one moment-it’s a collective of many many moments. I have to remind myself often! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sasha says:

    This was so good!! How often I reach for some type of “goal” when really it is finding the happiness in everyday living where my focus should point to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Thank you Sasha! I was thrilled to have found your blog. You are so sweet and I appreciate your encouragement greatly. It’s way too easy in life to reach for a goal and miss all of the life behind it. Time to slow down and take it all in 🙂


  6. humblygrowing says:

    Awe! I always love reading your blog post! They are always filled with such great words, and thought provoking questions! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lisette Defoe says:

    Very true.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. beingeternal says:

    Inspiringly damn amazing. Emily. You are truly skilful at this. You have rightly said that happiness is everywhere…………in life’s simplest things. I love the beautiful and wise words on goals. Yes, the goals we keep are no match for the superior capabilities we are endowed with. We are much greater and larger than our goals and hence the limited goals cannot go hand in hand with our limitless selves. Much love to you dear for sharing your wonderful thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      Wow Reva! I do not deserve the support you show me. Thank you a million times. You have been a huge inspiration to me. Our goals in life can point us in the right direction but we should never put a max limit on what is to come. Always keeping our head forward and slowing down enough to take in what we have right in front of us. Then when we reach “the next thing” we will be more prepared than having rushed to get from point to point to point. Stay wonderful! Not hard for you to do 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • beingeternal says:

        My Pleasure. So kind of you, dear. Many thanks for taking out time and replying to me , detailing each and everything. I love the way you talk to me. Yes………..staying wonderful is not hard for me. Hope its damn easy for you. Love and hugs. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Natalie Brenner says:

    You did it again girlfriend. You’re the best. Inspiring and changing lives.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Natalie Brenner says:

    “Goals can blind us to what we already accomplished and what comes next.” Brilliant

    Liked by 2 people

  11. APhungFoto says:

    Beautifully written and very true. thanks for the like and comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is lovely! So often I find myself saying, “now what?” When really happiness is what I’m searching for and can be found right here, right now, along the way. Such a good reminder. Thank you for this! I’m happy to have found your blog via a pendulum world. I’m excited to read more of your inspirational posts! What a darling little girl you have, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • lightthelie says:

      I’m glad to know there are others like myself! Thank you for such encouraging comments. Please stop by often. Viewers like you are a treasure! A Pendulum World has quickly become a favorite blog of mine, so I’m happy to hear you roam around there as well 🙂 I will be heading to check out your blog now.


  13. This is really a great post. Sometimes we reach certain goals in life and then we are left at “now what?” Or you reach the goal and it wasn’t what you thought it would be. Life is the greatest teacher. Sometime we have to modify our goals…or toss them as we become wiser. Maybe the goal is to simply enjoy the journey. Great message you have here.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ShethP says:

    I think I read this at the right time. Something I definitely needed to be reminded of. Thanks for sharing your wisdom through these inspiring words. 🙂


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