Setting Goals

I’ve heard it said lots of times that the only way to achieve anything in this world is to set goals. To mark destinations on the map and actively move towards them, because otherwise we’re just treading water, moving in circles without realizing it. It’s probably true, it seems like it makes sense, I can’t see anything necessarily wrong with it. But for some reason I don’t like it. It puts the bulk of the responsibility on me. It’s telling me that I need to make something of my time on or in this world, that there is no inherent guiding light that will just automatically lead me to something interesting, and that’s really not cool. If life isn’t automatically worth living, if it’s possible to fail at life, because one did not properly set goals and tasks for things, then that kind of suggests that there is no plan beyond the one we make up ourselves. And if I’m the one who has to make the plan, who has to chart the course, then why did I have to start from this specific point in time and space, using this vessel? Why couldn’t I have, I don’t know, been a bird with wings or something? If this is some sort of role-playing game, where I have to bring my imagination to the table in order to make it worthwhile, then why didn’t I get to choose my character?

This mixture of apparently free will based decision making and completely predetermined character traits and inherent features makes for a really uneven experience. On one hand, I need to figure out what I want to do with my life, on the other hand, I am a rapidly balding 28-year-old manchild who lives with his parents, has no technical skills, is probably mentally ill, and can’t drive a car without crashing while located in Southern California, which is basically just a massive system of roads. Whatever goals I set are going to be 100% filtered through the lens that is me, and me is kind of inherently fucked up. And it’s not like I’ve never set goals before, I set goals all the time and I often accomplish them, they’re just really dumb goals. For example back in late 2020 I started playing Pokémon Go, a game which most people picked up when it came out in 2016 or whatever, played for a few days, then put it down and never played it again. In 2016, I was too caught up in reading about the cannibalistic pedophiles who might be running the entire world to pay attention to video games. But, nevertheless, in 2020 I started playing Pokémon Go, and I got really into it, and I started setting goals for things to achieve in the game. Catch every creature, complete the PokéDex, reach level 50, I did all those things. They took a ridiculous amount of time, but I did do them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I realize how absurd it is to set goals for playing a video game. To essentially plan out to do things in a children’s recreational activity, that most people do for fun casually, and then act as if these are important tasks that need to be accomplished, but you have to keep in mind that I am mentally retarded. I don’t want to set goals that I can’t achieve, because that would be demoralizing. For example, if I set the goal of meeting a woman, marrying her, buying a house, having children and doing that whole thing, I would 100% not accomplish it. Setting such a goal would basically be sadomasochism, or just masochism depending upon how you see it. But it would be a very dumb goal for me to set, because I have to live my life as the character that was chosen for me, and that character is not the guy who ends up having a family. So the question becomes, who is this guy that I am, and what goals can I set that might be challenging, but are actually within the realm of possibility? Right now, I’m thinking that washing the dishes and brewing up a pitcher of green tea is maybe something that I can do.

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