Values Versus Goals Driven Life

Values Versus Goals Driven Life

Published By: Usha Venkatesh
Published On: 25 Jul 2023 01:57:36 AM

Values Versus Goals Driven Life


Right from childhood we are conditioned to set our goals – our marks, rank, prestigious college admission, dream job and so on. We get our sense of happiness as we go about achieving those goals. Most goals are driven by parameters of “SUCCESS” as designed by the society around us. When those expectations are met, they make us ‘happy’. When they are not met, they leave us feeling sad and unworthy. The sense of happiness is transient till the next goal. So, the cycle continues. This is how life is - problem arises when we are conditioned to think that happiness is our birthright and we can and should constantly live our lives striving for achieving goals that will keep us in “happiness’ state of being. Goals are our target objectives and ticking them does bring happiness but is it lasting? Depending on how much we have strived for the goal, it can result in either moments of joy or sometimes a longer sense of happy feeling; but it does wane away after some time; till the next goal and the next… So, are we trying to say goals are unimportant– No, certainly not, but something else could be more important than goals – Values!



Imagine that you are dead and you get a chance to observe your funeral. You are listening to eulogies by your friends, family, and acquaintances. Do you feel proud to hear   what they have to say about you, your life and what you mean to them? What do people who are important to you think and remember you by? People mostly remember how you have lived your life rather than what achievements you have scaled. Think about it, remember your favorite grandfather or aunt who did not have much achievements to be listed on any memorial wall but do you not miss them for the way they showered their love and affection, how they did those little things that cemented your bond, how conscious they were of their family responsibilities that they often sacrificed their own pleasures. They belong to the unsung heroes’ community who lived their lives by their values. This is a good place to start from if you are not sure what your values are. Values are those core ethics and beliefs that are instilled in you. They give you a sense of identity and purpose when you live by this code of values. Values are your “being”and Goals are your “doing”. Just striving towards your goals will land you in a continuous cycle of success and failure while values will make the journey itself fulfilling and worthwhile. When there is a balance between your values and goals (being & doing), you will have a more satisfying and meaningful life.

About the Author

Usha Venkatesh

PCC Coach, ICF Certified

Reach me at

(Above article is inspired on the concept from the book “The Happiness Trap” by author Russ Harris and the image re-used from Google Images)

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