I have spent the greater part of my college years and my senior year of high school obsessed with 1 thing: receiving love. However, if you asked me what I was doing while I was in the midst of this obsession, I would not have told you that. I would have told you that I am:
1. Getting a six pack
2. Overcoming my anxiety around women
Both of those are, on the surface, worthy goals. After all, what young male is not told by our society that being in shape and surrounded by beautiful women is part of “the good life”? And don’t get me wrong: I want to be jacked and getting laid as much as the next guy, probably even a lot more.
The issue stems from the motivation behind these goals. Why did I want to get ripped? Because I wanted women to like me. (Warning sign!) Why did I want women to like me? Because I didn’t like myself. Hell, I didn’t want women to like me- I wanted them to love me! To be obsessed with me, to be addicted to me, to gossip about how amazing I was in bed to all of their friends, who in turn would be enviously planning their next move to hook up with me.
Yeah, I went a little overboard.
But this just goes to show you how powerful the drive for self-esteem really is. Back when I played high school sports, all of the coaches loved me. Why? I was a very hard worker, and I usually listened to them. Most coaches would agree that those are good traits to have in an athlete. But I just did those things so that the coaches would like me!
At the end of the day, it is a pretty natural thing. However, I would suggest that the motivation, the fuel behind your goals is just as important, maybe more important, than the goals themselves. At the very least, one must be able to be honest with yourself about why you are pursuing a certain goal.