Own My Growth

Helping folks with practical tips to manage themselves better

How’s Your Day ?


There are two types of goals we go after in our lives.

  1. Goals that you chose for yourself without pressure from anyone. These goals you wish to go after stem from a deep desire to express yourself rather than a need to impress others. Let’s call such goals intrinsic goals.
  2. Goals that we feel obligated to pursue because of pressure from external factors. It could be overt pressure from family, an unconscious desire to stand out in a peer group, or any other external factor behind the goals you set for yourself. Such goals are extrinsic goals.

The same goal can be intrinsic or extrinsic, depending upon how you frame it for yourself.

E.g., You want to make money because you want are driven by the need for social status and the desire to flaunt wealth. This will become an extrinsic goal. 

In contrast, you want to make money less for the material aspect of what the wealth represents and more for intrinsic factors like- the reward for effort, a mark of competence, or personal growth. This is an intrinsic goal.

Intrinsic Goals, you want to go after. They have the power to inspire and energize you to go after them. They feel like a play for you- just being in the game going after them feels worthwhile. Extrinsic goals, on the other hand, feel like a stressful pursuit. You have this need to win at costs approach. You feel pressured, and so does the environment around you.

Have-To-Dos Vs Want-To-Dos

Goals, by definition, are in the future. The Intrinsic and extrinsic goals that are in the future find their way into our daily chores in the present. The intrinsic goals manifest as “want to do” activities, while the extrinsic goals manifest as “have to do” activities. The more your day is filled with have-to-do instead of want-to-do activities, the more you wake up every day feeling enslaved by your extrinsic goals.

Your daily sense of “feel good” is, to a large degree, a function of the ratio between want-to-dos and have-to-dos that you have lined up for the day.

You might ask, ” does this mean I must eliminate all the have-to-dos and focus only on want-to dos in order to feel good?”

No. The objective is not to entirely get rid of the have-to-dos. Instead, it is to reduce them as much as possible and replace them with want-to-dos so that you can feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction instead of relief and release when the day or week ends.

So, think about your current life.

  •  Are you running for your intrinsic goals or running after your extrinsic goals?
  • In your typical day, do you have more have-to-dos or want-to-dos?
  • Are you looking forward to the day tomorrow?

Folks who articulate and pursue Intrinsic goals are generally happier and more successful. Checking if your day is consistently filled with more have-to-dos or want-to-dos is a great way help you figure whether you are running towards what you want to do or towards what others want you to do.

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