The Life Goals Test
Our life goals test will assess what it is that matters most to you and help determine where your goals lie. The test is scientifically validated and was developed to weight the importance of various life goals and to see how realistic or unrealistic your goals may be.
- Do you value fame over family and friends?
- Do you value money too much?
- Are artistic pursuits and creation your life goals?
The Problem with Unrealistic Life Goals
Ambitious and specific goals do indeed help but unrealistic goals do not always benefit our mental health. New research is showing links between unrealistic goals and a number of psychological disorders like bipolar and mania. The motivational guru's quickly point out not so long ago it was unrealistic to fly, unrealistic to walk on the moon, unrealistic to hope for integrated societies. Indeed many believe unrealistic people shape the world. You'll also find many of history's greatest leaders, names like Lincoln, Churchill and Ghandi suffered long standing psychological disorders. Perhaps it is difficult to rise above the ordinary with an ordinary psychology, be it a positive or negative state.
No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.- Aristotle
How do you know if a goal is realistic or unrealistic?
Models of motivation tell us that a difference between the life you're living and the life you want to live is what keeps us motivated. According to the model too big a gap, an unrealistic goal and motivation will subside. Motivation research has also shown that a goal in which we get to progress will improve our chances of reaching the goal. As we work towards a goal it is important to feel a sense of mastery and expertise being acquired. We need to feel as though we're improving or our levels of motivation will begin to decline. A goal is unrealistic if it's so far away you begin to believe it's unobtainable or you don't get to progress in a way which keeps you motivated. If you're not prepared to set another goal think about setting an interim goal which will keep you motivated. An unrealistic goal may also be one in which you control very few of the elements required to achieve it. We tend to overestimate the factors within our direct control and so an unrealistic goal can be one in which luck or chance is a large component. Take a look at our tips for staying motivated if you're looking for scientifically optimised ways to set goals.
Philosophical questions about the meaning of your life
Psychologist have long used hypothetical questions to help determine life goals. They can shed a little insight and a new way to approach the problem of life meaning. Have fun with the following:
- Imagine no one existed
- 1 week to live
- Write your obituary
- Life from Imagination
Imagine for a moment you were raised in neither a western nor eastern culture. Imagine instead you were raised in solitude without the influence of media, family or friends. What do you imagine your life's goals would be? Would you have goals? Are your goals your own?
You're going to die and there is no escaping your destiny. What would you spend the week doing?
What kind of person were you? How did you live? Who mattered most to you? How will you be remembered?
A reality altering technology is created which instantly creates the world you desire. Everyone gets the technology and creates their own worlds. What does your world look like? There is no limit on who, where or even when you can be.
Think back over the last 10 years of your life. Even if you haven't had goals what have you worked for? How much satisfaction have you derived from the pursuit of your goals? Which parts of your life have brought the most satisfaction?
You would like to be famous and enjoy the attention of others. You are likely to be somewhat attention seeking. You are not at all interested in making the world a better place and would rather focus on other goals.