Why Goals Make Us Feel Frustrated, And What We Can Do About It
I hope you're feeling better, Andrei! And I'm sorry for the lost subscribers. A loss always feels upsetting and personal, but more often than not, it's not. Keep writing what is authentic to you and you will reach the readers who will appreciate your hard work. Thank you for the practical recommendation. I had illusions about my Substack when I started my journey here too. But I'm a bit more grounded now. I also don't focus so much on the subscriber numbers and instead on engaging with those who engage with me. It's been liberating.
You made me smile.... I also got a pinch when I lost a few readers, then I rationalized: maybe they're not that interested in what I write, can't please everybody... And I rejoice on the loyal readers! I'd add a little comment on your dreams vs goals. If you hit walls with agents and publishers and your dream takes knocks, remember why you started to write to begin with. It wasn't for an agent or a publisher, was it?
Is very interesting what you've talked about on this post. As you say, is good to have goals, reachable goals, but we don't have to give them the power to possess us, to domain our mind and to change our day. I'll try the list task, I think it will be an interesting exercise for me. 🙂
Hope you feel better now, I'm sure all the knowledge you are learning will make you stronger and more wiser. Just as an example, a goal for me is improving my English 😉
Wow, what a nice reminder. I started my Substack six months ago. I don't live in US and I still haven't reached 100 readers. I always wonder where else I'm lacking, if it's about my writing or that my being active in promoting is not enough; I've seen people become really successful in just a few months. At times this would really upset me because I can't write more regularly here no matter how much I want to because I also need to make a living and my publication is still far from that yet, but at the same time I know that being more present has its own kind of impact too. But I really appreciate that I have loyal readers. I'd take comfort in knowing these are the things I can't really control and therefore shouldn't fret too much about. One subscriber is still one person reading what I make. What's more important to focus on is sticking to my goals, being consistent, and treat every newsletter I publish as if it's my last stroke at creating something. Thanks for this, Andrei!
I set my goal, made up my mind,
and gave the right commands.
But little did I ever know,
the world had other plans.
Thanks for the shout-out Andrei!
This post! Masterful way to keep us in suspense with you on that train, and use Dr. Pepper’s presentation to weave in goal-setting tips.
(PS: I’ll be in touch shortly for your upcoming micro-interview).
I'm currently writing a taxonomy/categorisation of goals because I think it's one of those words that we easily misinterpret or misuse. Different goals have different qualities. Personally I try to limit my thinking about goals to the short-term stepping stones that are in my control. I have aspirations but these are too vague to be goals. When you set yourself big goals you are always failing until you reach them, and when you reach them they rarely bring the imagined satisfaction.
So true, Andrei! May we craft our goals around what WE can input, and not rely on others to achieve those goals. Granted, it is certainly nice when that outside approval happens, but we can only control what WE control (our number of posts, for example, versus number of subscribers).
And I enjoyed your Ryan Holiday footnote. He made Stoicism fashionable again. :)
I'm a big fan of SMART goals but hadn't considered the "external factors" you mentioned. Dr. Pepper sounds an awful lot like Dr. Jordan Peterson. I also enjoy the work of The Daily Stoic; seems like we follow similar authors/content creators. Good stuff.