What we “think” we want and what we “truly” want are two very different things. 

We think we want a specific job. A big paycheck. A nice house with a garage. A retirement plan. That new iPad.

But really, its not about the big paycheck or the fancy crib – when you step back and put things into perspective – what we truly want is fulfillment. 

As Vishen Lakhiani shares in the video above – there’s a big difference between our means goals and our end goals. For example, if being fearless and corageous is an end goal, the means goal would be to do something specific that you’re afraid to do. Take the leap toward starting your business. Move to a new place. Commit to running a marathon, even if you’ve never run before.

My philosophy on work and life is very much the same as Vivek’s in that the big picture is what matters. The day to day grind of doing the work, figuring things out, facing obstacles, learning, and growing – it isn’t always glamarous, and it isn’t always ideal – but it’s all about taking a step back to look at the end goal. As long as you know what you’re trying to achieve, and why, you’re on the right track.

It’s so easy to confuse end goals and mean goals – I do it, and I see other people doing it every single day. This confusion creeps in because we focus so intently on the means goals, putting our blinders on to what really matters.

As Steve Pavlina puts it:

“Begin with the end in mind.”

Our end goals should motivate and drive everything we do. End goals define results that we’re unwilling to compromise. For me, an end goal is “freedom” – which can mean a lot of different things – but ultimately, it means I’m committed to creating a lifestyle that allows me options and choices. The choice to stay home and work in my PJs. The choice to work with the right clients. The choice to travel with my wife.

Choices. Options. Freedom. THAT is an (extremely) important end goal for me.

Steve Pavlina goes on to say:

“By having flexible end goals that connect with the manifestation and expression of your ultimate potential, it’s nearly impossible to fail except by choice.”

When we talk about setting ourselves up for success. When we talk about being “unstoppable” – we’re talking about aligning our actions and behaviors with the grand scheme of things. YOUR grand scheme of things.

End goals should be simple. Pure. Specific. Ambitious.

The means to the end may be complex, challenging, and at times seem nearly impossible. But if you keep in mind what you’re working toward, and why you’re doing it – you’ll never question whether or not you’re doing the right thing.

What are your END GOALS? What matters most? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. I also watch entirely too much Saved by the Bell, run marathons, and drink plenty of craft beer. Check out the work my company is doing at Proof Branding.