April 7, 2017 ~ 2 min read

Goals through the lens of stoicism

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Photo by Aaron Burden

Naturally, many people make goals focused on the final outcome they hope to achieve. If you are writing a book, you might make it a goal to get it published or sell X number of copies. If you are starting a business, your goal might be to generate X amount of revenue in your first year.

The problem with these types of goals is that they are only loosely correlated with our own actions. The majority of businesses will fail within five years. If we make our goal centered around the success of a business, we are concerning ourself with something that is fully not up to us.

Instead, if we focus our goal only around what we can control, we remove the fear and anxiety that comes with focusing on things that we cannot control. This could be as simple as spending focused time on or business, or learning something new about business each day.

When we reframe our goals in this way, suddenly starting your first business becomes a lot less scary. If the business fails, you didn't fail.

As long as you reached your goal of learning something new, or spent focused time on your business everyday, then starting your business was actually a massive success.

How can you reframe your focus so that you win regardless of what happens outside of your control?

Note: This post was inspired by A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

If you're interested in learning more about stoicism, I highly recommend checking out this book as well as these other resources:

Maxi Ferreira

Hi, I'm Taylor . I'm a software engineer/maker/amateur chef currently living in San Francisco. You can follow me on Twitter , see some of my work on GitHub , or read about my life on Substack .