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{Though our stories are often written, our platform welcomes stories told in other ways. We invite submissions of Spoken Word poetry or performance art, dance or music, and visual art as well. We only ask that if it's not a literary submission, that you offer some written contextualization of the piece.

"You will never be happy if you have a goals-first mindset" by Audrey Hwang

Setting goals for oneself has often been seen as the only way for self improvement. However, this narrow minded “all or nothing” approach to reaching one’s potential can be detrimental to one’s mentality.

While goals can steer someone into the right direction, they do not allow for long lasting results. In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, Clear states that goals call for short term periods of hard work. For example, if a cyclist has a goals-first mentality, they would train up until their race day, but immediately after, they would take a break. However, if a cyclist had a mentality of striving to be a good cyclist, then they would constantly be training no matter their race schedules.

Thus, it is important for one to strive to be something, rather than achieve something. One should not strive to win a cycling race, but to be a good cyclist. This shift in mindset can allow one to work towards something that lasts.

If one constantly wants to achieve something, they base their happiness on reaching those goals. Realistically, one will not fulfill all their goals. There will always be times where they fall short of their goals. 

There is a never ending cycle to reaching goals because goals will never end. There will always be a next race, a next game, or a next test. The exhaustion of constantly chasing goal after goal can be overwhelming. Even if a goal is achieved, there will always be something bigger and better that one will aim towards next.

One will never be able to enjoy the process if their happiness relies on factors that are out of their control. They will never be able to live in the moment, and find joys in the process of striving to be something.

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