Goal is a very important thing, it is arguably more important than the actual result and the process. Let me try to make things clear and explain why I think having a clear goal is so important. If there is no goal or no clear goal, there is no process. Even if there is a process, the process wouldn’t really lead us to where we want to go since we have no idea of where we want to go. Some people may wonder why the goal is actually more important than the actual result. It is actually quite simple if you are aware of that randomness plays a big part in our life. The actual result that has happened is a result of method, effort and luck. We can control the method and luck part but there’s no way that we can control the luck part. The result is just one of the many things that could happen. If your goal is a good one and your have choose the right method and spend a lot of effort to achieve your goal and you still fail, that’s perfectly okay. It is just that probability didn’t work out in your favor this time. If you do agree that having a clear goal is important, should we start discussing what the goal of meditation should be?
Making Your Mind Clear Should be the Only Top-Level Goal of Meditation
By achieving a top-level goal, for example being the founder of a successful startup, you will achieve a lot of other goals which are by-products of the top-level goal. For example, you will become rich and famous if you achieve your goal of being the founder of a successful startup. It is important to separate the top-level goal with sub-level goals. In the case of meditation, there should only be one top-level goal, which is to make your mind very clear. I know that a lot of people start meditating after learning about meditation and its benefits from books, podcasts, and interviews that are self-help materials. They want to be successful so they start practicing meditation. But you have to understand that your top-level goal of meditation is not to be successful. It can be a side-product, a very far side-product in this case, but it is definitely not a top-level goal of meditation. You will be frustrated very soon if all you are trying to do is to achieve success with meditation. I am sorry to be the one that tells you that meditation is useful but not that powerful. All it does and all you should focus on when meditating is that meditation clears your mind. Now, if you can achieve this top-level goal of making your mind very clear, you can at the same time achieve a lot of different sub-goals too. In the following, I am going to discuss some of the most important sub-goals that you can achieve when you are able to achieve the goal of making your mind clear.
The Ability to Stay Calm
Now, we understand that the goal of meditation is to make our mind very clear. Let’s talk about our career goal a little bit. We all have our career goal. One thing that keeps getting in our way to achieve our goal is something that we seem to have control yet we rarely have good control of it without much training. That wild thing is our emotion. If you have observed carefully, the most successful people usually act very unemotionally when they work. It is that calmness that allows them to be subjective and see the reality clear when they need to solve problem or make progress. You may know some friends around that make the worst career moves due to their emotion. Do you know that friend who changed job because he had an argument with his or her coworkers? If your friend’s goal is to make a lot of money, isn’t it more reasonable to find a job that pays better before quitting? Meditation is very good tool to make us clear our mind. Having a clear mind is an essential part of making us stay calm because a clear mind allow us to be more aware of our emotions and also allows us to see situations in a less subjective and personal way.
A Big Sub-Goal of Meditation is to Reduce Stress
A lot of time, stress comes from the gap between the reality and our expectation. For example, you have stress when you expect your job to be easy and your co-workers to be friendly and the reality turns out to be the opposite. You have stress when you expect yourself to be married at the age of 30 but the reality isn’t that way and you are approaching 40 now. Since your can’t change the reality, you can only change the expectation. Having a clear mind can do two things to your expectations. It can make your expectation not as unrealistic. It can also make you not to have much expectation at all. Either ways of thinking are healthy than having a firm and high expectation. Try to have almost no expectation at all which is probably the best way to reduce your stress.
The Sense of Fulfilment is the Ultimate Source of Happiness
One thing that a lot of people who practice meditation notice is that meditation make them happier people. That kind of happiness I am talking about is not the feeling of exciting. It is a sense of fulfilment that is caused by understand yourself better and better. It is the ability to be more aware of your subconscious. One of my favorite saying is “Until you make the subconscious conscious, you will be directed by it and you will call it fate.” by Carl Jung. Do you agree with that? If you don’t see the brilliance of the beautiful quote yet, there is a good chance that you are still not very aware of your subconscious. We have a slim chance of controlling our subconscious with our conscious sometime if we are aware of it. We have zero chance if we are not aware.