Are your goals 'authentic and intrinsic'?

I have noticed over the years that people who give up in the middle of the road are often those who have wrong goals. Let me explain. A student is studying to be accepted into med school, but she’s not particularly passionate about it. Why? Because her parents want her to, because society wants her to, or because she thinks that she will become rich in the end. In other words, according to the goal-setting theory by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, her goal is neither authentic nor intrinsic.

Authentic goal: A goal you have chosen by yourself, not under pressure from someone else

Intrinsic goal: A goal that is intrinsically rewarding to you, not because it helps you reach wealth and fame

A university student is doing her coursework on a regular basis but lacks sufficient motivation. Why? Because she only wants to get a degree, get a job, make money, and finally be able to buy ‘stuff’ (such as a car and a house). In other words, she’s guided by external factors. Has she ever thought, “Is this career is in line with my talents? Am I enjoying it? Am I interested in it? Does it violate my values?” No. She has not included self-knowledge in her decision making.

An employee or a business owner puts in long hours but loses her motivation in the middle of the road, after the first or second failure. Why? Let me give you an example. We have all seen people who have entered the field of stock exchange or cryptocurrency in order to gain wealth and fame. They’ve never asked themselves: "Am I interested in this path? Are my values realized this way?"

You see, success begins with self-knowledge. And now you have to ask yourself: “Are my goals authentic and/or intrinsic?”


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