# List of common human goals

List of com­mon goal ar­eas:
This list is meant to be in the area of goal-space. It is non-ex­haus­tive and the de­scrip­tions are in­clud­ing but not limited to—some hints to help you un­der­stand where in the idea-space these goals land. When con­struct­ing this list I try to imag­ine a large venn di­a­gram where some­times they over­lap. The ar­eas men­tioned are ar­eas that have an ex­clu­sive part to them; i.e. where some­times knowl­edge over­laps with self-aware­ness there are parts of each that do not over­lap; so both are men­tioned. If you pre­fer a more “fo­cussing” or feel­ing base de­scrip­tion; Imag­ine each of these goals is a ham­mer, de­signed with a spe­cific weight to hit a cer­tain note on a xy­lo­phone. Often one ham­mer can pro­duce the note that is meant for that key and sev­eral other keys as well. But some­times they can’t quite make them sound perfect. What is needed is the right ham­mer for that block to hit the right note and make the right sound. Each of these “ham­mers” has some note that can­not be pro­duced through the use of other ham­mers.

## This list has sev­eral pur­poses:

1. For some­one with some com­pleted goals who is look­ing to move for­ward to new hori­zons; help you con­sider which com­mon goal-pur­suits you have not ex­plored and if you want to try to strive for some­thing in one of these di­rec­tions.

2. For some­one with­out clear goals who is look­ing to cre­ate them and does not know where to start.

3. For some­one with too many spe­cific goals who is look­ing to con­sider the essences of those goals and what they are re­ally striv­ing for.

4. For some­one who doesn’t re­ally un­der­stand goals or why we go af­ter them to get a bet­ter feel for “what” po­ten­tial goals could be.

## What to do with this list?

0. Agree to in­vest 30 min­utes of effort into a goal con­fir­ma­tion ex­er­cise as fol­lows.
1. Go through this list (copy paste to your own doc­u­ment) and cross out the things you prob­a­bly don’t care about. Some of these have over­lap­ping solu­tions of pro­jects that you can do that fulfils mul­ti­ple goal-space con­cepts. (5mins)

2. For the re­main­ing goals; rank them ei­ther “1 to n”, in “tiers” of high to low pri­or­ity or gen­er­ally or­der them in some way that is co­her­ent to you. (For se­ri­ous quan­tifi­ca­tion; con­sider giv­ing them points—i.e. 100 points for achiev­ing a self-aware­ness and un­der­stand­ing goal but a plea­sure/​cre­ativity goal might be only worth 20 points in com­par­i­son) (10mins)

3. Make a list of your on­go­ing pro­jects (5-10mins), and check if they ac­tu­ally match up to your most prefer­able goals. (or your num­ber rank­ing) (5-10mins) If not; make sure you have a re­ally re­ally good ex­cuse for your­self.

4. Con­sider how you might like to do things differ­ently that pri­ori­tise your cur­rent plans to fit more in­line with your goals. (10-20mins)

5. Re­peat this task at an ap­pro­pri­ate in­ter­val (6monthly, monthly, when your goals sig­nifi­cantly change, when your life sig­nifi­cantly changes, when ma­jor pro­jects end)

## Why have goals?

Your goals could change in life; you could ex­plore one area and re­al­ise you ac­tu­ally love an­other area more. It’s im­por­tant to ex­plore and keep con­firm­ing that you are still win­ning your own per­sonal race to where you want to be go­ing.
It’s easy to in­sist that goals serve to only dis­ap­point or bur­den a per­son. Th­ese are en­tirely valid fears for some­one who does not yet have goals. Goals are not set in stone; how­ever they don’t like to be mod­ified ei­ther. I like to think of goals as do­ing this:

(source: in­ter­net viral images) Pic­tures from the In­ter­net aside; The best rea­son I have ever rea­soned for pick­ing goals is to do ex­actly this. Make choices that a rea­son­able you in the fu­ture will be mo­ti­vated to stick to Out­source that plan­ning and think­ing of goal/​pur­pose/​di­rec­tion to your past self. Nat­u­rally you could feel like mak­ing goals is piling on the bricks (but there is a way to make goals that do not leave them piling on like bricks); you should think of it as res­cu­ing fu­ture you from a day spent com­pletely lost and won­der­ing what you were do­ing. Or a day spent ques­tion­ing if “this” is some­thing that is get­ting you closer to what you want to be do­ing in life.

Below here is the list. Good luck.

## Per­sonal:

Spiritu­al­ity—re­li­gion, con­nec­tion to a god, med­i­ta­tion, the prac­tice of grat­i­tude or ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the uni­verse, bud­dhism, feel­ing of a greater pur­pose in life.

Knowl­edge/​skill + Abil­ity—learn­ing for fun—just to know, ad­vanced ed­u­ca­tion, be­com­ing an ex­pert in a field, be­ing able to think clearly, be­ing able to perform a cer­tain skill (phys­i­cal skill), abil­ity to do any­thing from run very far and fast to hold your breath for a minute, Find­ing ways to get into flow or the zone, be more ra­tio­nal.

Self-aware­ness/​un­der­stand­ing—to be at a place of un­der­stand­ing one’s place in the world, or have an un­der­stand­ing of who you are; Prac­tis­ing think­ing in eclec­tic per­spec­tives for var­i­ous other peo­ple and how it effects your un­der­stand­ing of the world.

Health + men­tal—hap­piness (mind­set) - Do you even lift? http://​​the­fu­turepri­mae­val.net/​​why-we-even-lift/​​, are you fit, healthy, eat­ing right, are you in pain, is your mind in a good place, do you have a pos­i­tive in­ter­nal voice, do you have bad dreams, do you feel con­fi­dent, do you feel like you get enough time to your­self?

Live for­ever—do you want to live for­ever—do you want to work to­wards en­sur­ing that this hap­pens?

Art/​cre­ativity—gen­er­at­ing cre­ative works, in any field—writ­ing, paint­ing, sculpt­ing, mu­sic, perfor­mance.

Plea­sure/​recre­ation—are you en­joy­ing your­self, are you re­lax­ing, are you do­ing things for you.

Ex­pe­rience/​di­ver­sity—Have you seen the world? Have you ex­plored your own city? Have you met new peo­ple, are you get­ting out of your nor­mal en­vi­ron­ment?

Free­dom—are you tied down? Are you trapped in your situ­a­tion? Are your bur­dens stacked up?

Ro­mance—are you en­gaged in ro­mance? could you be?

Be­ing first—You did some­thing be­fore any­one; you broke a record, It’s not be­cause you want your name on the plaque—just the chance to do it first. You got that.

Create some­thing new—in­vent some­thing; be on the cut­ting edge of your field; just see a dis­cov­ery for the first time. Where the new-ness makes cre­at­ing some­thing new not quite the same as be­ing first or be­ing cre­ative.

Im­prove the tools available—sharpen the axe, write a new app that can do the thing you want, in­vent sys­tems that work for you. pre­pare for when the rest of the work comes along

## Per­sonal-world:

Le­gacy—are you leav­ing some­thing be­hind? Do you have a name? Will peo­ple look back and say; I wish I was that guy!

Fame/​re­nound­ness—Are you “the guy”? Do you want peo­ple to know your name when you walk down the street? Are there gos­sip mag­a­z­ines talk­ing about you; do peo­ple want to know what you are work­ing on in the hope of steal­ing some of your fame? Is that what you want?

Lead­er­ship, and mil­i­tary/​con­quer—are you climb­ing to the top? Do you need to be in con­trol? Is that go­ing to make the best out­comes for you? Do you wish to de­stroy your en­e­mies? As a leader do you want peo­ple fol­low­ing you? Do as you do? Peo­ple should re­vere you. And power—in the com­plex; “in con­trol” and “flick the switch” ways that over­lap with other goal-space ar­eas. Of course there are many forms of power; but if its some­thing that you want; you can find fulfil­ment through ob­tain­ing it.

Be­ing part of some­thing greater—The op­por­tu­nity to be a piece of a big­ger puz­zle, are you bring­ing about change; do we have you to thank for be­ing part of bring­ing the fu­ture closer; are you mak­ing a differ­ence.

So­cial—are you spend­ing time so­cially? No man is an is­land, do you have reg­u­lar so­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties, do you have ex­plo­ra­tory so­cial op­por­tu­ni­ties to meet new peo­ple. Do you have an es­tab­lished so­cial net­work? Do you have in­ti­macy? Do you have seek op­por­tu­ni­ties to have soul to soul ex­pe­riences with other peo­ple? Authen­tic con­nec­tion?

Fam­ily—do you have a fam­ily of your own? Do you want one? Are there steps that you can take to put your­self closer to there? Do you have a pet? Hav­ing your own offspring? Do you have in­ti­macy?

Money/​wealth—Do you have money; pos­ses­sions and wealth? Does your money earn you more money with­out any fur­ther effort (i.e. own­ing a busi­ness, earn­ing in­ter­est on your , in­vest­ing)

Perfor­mance—Do you want to be a pub­lic performer, get on stage and en­ter­tain peo­ple? Is that some­thing you want to be able to do? Or do on a reg­u­lar ba­sis?

Re­spon­si­bil­ity—Do you want re­spon­si­bil­ity? Do you want to be the one who can make the big de­ci­sions?

Achieve, Awards—Do you like gold medal­lions? Do you like to strive to­wards an award?

In­fluence—Do you want to be able to in­fluence peo­ple, change hearts and minds.

Con­for­mity—The de­sire to blend in; or be nor­mal. Just to live life as is; with­out be­ing un­com­fortable.

Be treated fairly—are you get­ting the raw end of the stick? Are there ways that you don’t have to keep be­ing the bad guy around here?

Keep up with the Jone­ses—you have money/​wealth already, but there is also the goal of ap­pear­ing like you have money/​wealth. Be­ing the guy that other peo­ple keep up with.

Val­i­da­tion/​ac­knowl­edge­ment—Pos­i­tive Feed­back on emo­tions/​feel­ing un­der­stood/​feel­ing that one is good and one matters

## World:

Im­prove the lives of oth­ers (helping peo­ple) - in the char­ity sense of rais­ing the low­est com­mon de­nom­i­na­tor di­rectly.

Char­ity + im­prove the world - in­di­rectly. putting money to­wards a cause; lobby the gov­ern­ment to change the sys­tems to im­prove peo­ple’s lives.

Win­ning for your team/​tribe/​value set—do­ing ac­tions but on be­half of your team, not your­self. (where they can be one and the same)

De­sired world-states—make the world into a de­sired al­ter­na­tive state. Don’t like how it is; are you driven to make it into some­thing bet­ter?

## Other (and nega­tive stim­uli):

Ad­dic­tion (fulfil ad­dic­tion) - ad­dic­tion feels good from the in­side and can be a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor for do­ing some­thing.

Vir­tual re­al­ity suc­cess—own all the cur­rency/​coin and all the cookie click­ers, grow all the lev­els and get all the ex­pe­rience points!

Re­venge—Get re­tri­bu­tion; take back what you should have right­fully had, show the world who’s boss.

Nega­tive—avoid (i.e. pain, loneli­ness, debt, failure, em­bar­rass­ment, jail) - where you can be mo­ti­vated to avoid pain—to keep safe, or avoid some­thing, or “get your act to­gether”.

Nega­tive—stag­na­tion (avoid stag­na­tion) - Stop stand­ing still. Stop sit­ting on your ass and DO some­thing.

## Words:

This list be­ing writ­ten in words; Will not mean the same thing to ev­ery reader. Which is why I tried to in­clude sev­eral cat­e­gories that al­most over­lap with each other. Some no­table over­laps are: Le­gacy/​Fame. Be­ing first/​Achieve­ment. Be­ing first/​skill and abil­ity. But of course there are sev­eral more. I re­ally did try to keep the cat­e­gories open and sev­eral; not sim­plified. My anal­ogy to ham­mers and notes should be kept in mind when try­ing to im­prove this list.

I wel­come all sug­ges­tions and im­prove­ments to this list.

I wel­come all feed­back to im­prove the do-at-home task.

I wel­come all life-chang­ing re­al­i­sa­tions as feed­back from ex­am­in­ing this list.

I wel­come the op­por­tu­nity to be told how wrong I am :D

## Meta-information

This doc­u­ment in to­tal has been 7-10 hours of writ­ing over about two weeks.

I have had it re­viewed by a hand­ful of peo­ple and less­wrongers be­fore post­ing. (I kept re­al­is­ing that some­one I was talk­ing to might get value out of it)

I wrote this be­cause I felt like it was the least-bad way that I could think of go­ing about

find­ing these ideas in the one place

shar­ing these ideas and this way of think­ing about them with you.

Edit: also in­cluded; (not in the com­ments) de­sired world states; and live for­ever.

• sug­gests these ques­tions for anal­y­sis of your life; in the form of a yearly re­view. If you are re­view­ing there is no need to put it off for that time of year; copied here in case the source dis­ap­pears:

1. What went well?

2. What did not go well?

3. Where did you try hard?

4. Where did you not try hard enough?

• Do you have a sense of pur­pose and di­rec­tion in life?

• What is your philos­o­phy of life?

• What are your fun­da­men­tal goals, be­liefs, and val­ues?

• How do you want the world to be differ­ent when you’re dead?

• Where are you right now (both phys­i­cally in the uni­verse and tem­po­rally)?

• What do you want out of life?

• What is a sum­mary of your be­liefs?

Con­tri­bu­tion & Impact

• How are you giv­ing value to the world?

• How much money did you give away in the past year? Who did it go to? Did it have the most pos­si­ble im­pact.

• Do you take re­spon­si­bil­ity for your en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact on the world?

Lo­ca­tion & Possessions

• Where do you live?

• Where in the world are you?

• What is your liv­ing situ­a­tion like?

• How much stuff do you own?

• Ap­prox­i­mate value of all pos­ses­sions?

Money & Finance

• Do you have sav­ings? How much? Where are they?

• What is the sta­tus of your as­sets and in­vest­ments?

• Do you know where you spend your money?

• Do you bud­get?

• Are you aware of where you spend your money?

• Do you have any debt?

Ca­reer & Work

• How do you make your money?

• What do you do?

• Do you like your job?

• Are you en­gaged by your work?

• Are you well net­worked within your in­dus­try?

Health & Fitness

• Typ­i­cal foods?

• Are you gen­er­ally tired or alert?

• How of­ten do you get sick?

• Do you ex­er­cise?

• How much do you sleep on av­er­age?

• How much do you weigh?

• What is your stand­ing heart rate?

• Do you reg­u­larly eat fast food or make healthy home-cooked meals?

• Do you re­search healthy foods and choices?

• What is your source of health in­for­ma­tion?

Knowl­edge & Education

• How much time do you spend learn­ing new things?

• How much have you read in the past year?

• How much ed­u­ca­tion do you have?

• What tal­ents and skills have you re­cently de­vel­oped?

Communication

• How much have you writ­ten in the past year?

• Do you ever dis­cuss con­tro­ver­sial top­ics with oth­ers?

• Do you ever give pre­sen­ta­tions to friends or cowork­ers?

• Are you con­fronta­tional or open to dis­cus­sion?

• Do you have in­fluence and sta­tus in your so­cial cir­cles? In so­ciety?

In­ti­mate Relationship

• Are you in a re­la­tion­ship?

• How is it go­ing?

• How much do you know about the other per­son?

• Are you aware of each other’s needs and de­sires?

So­cial Life & Family

• How is your home life?

• How many core friends do you have?

• How many ac­quain­tances?

• What clubs or or­ga­ni­za­tions are you a mem­ber of?

• Are you a good friend?

Emotions

• Are you gen­er­ally op­ti­mistic or pes­simistic?

• Are you gen­er­ally pos­i­tive or nega­tive?

• Are you eas­ily aware of your cur­rent emo­tional state?

• Are you quick to no­tice how your emo­tions are in­fluenc­ing your thoughts, ac­tions, and de­ci­sions?

• Do you do any sort of reg­u­lar mind­ful­ness prac­tice?

Char­ac­ter & Integrity

Rate your­self in the fol­low­ing:

• Compassion

• Integrity

• Empathy

• Honor

• Self-discipline

• Self-awareness

• Com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills

• Responsibility

• Focus

• Authenticity

• Confidence

• Persistence

• Effectiveness

• Etc.

Pro­duc­tivity & Organization

• What pro­duc­tivity sys­tems do you use, if any?

• How well are they work­ing?

• What sorts of daily rou­tines do you have?

• Is there too much com­plex­ity in your life? Do you need to sim­plify?

• Are you ex­pe­rienc­ing what you want to ex­pe­rience in life?

• What fun things have you done lately?

• What cre­ative things have you done lately?

• What do you do for recre­ation?

• I like the idea of adding a poll to get feed­back about how the post is re­ceived. But this poll in par­tic­u­lar seems to add lit­tle be­yond what can be in­ferred from the votes. Maybe choose an­other di­men­sion next time?

• Thanks for post­ing this. Just a quick note, many of the things listed above I would con­sider may be “com­mon” ter­mi­nal val­ues, not goals. Might just be a word­ing thing, but I think of goals as in­stru­men­tal, with val­ues prop­a­gat­ing to ac­tions via the hi­er­ar­chy val­ues->strate­gies->cam­paigns->goals->ac­tions.

Con­ver­gent in­stru­men­tal goals might be an in­ter­est­ing col­lec­tion as well.

• I have a lot to con­sider in the way of “val­ues” that are not re­ally cov­ered in this doc­u­ment. Thanks!

• First off, I wanted to say that I like your post and the gen­eral idea of it, but I feel that in its cur­rent form it is lack­ing a base. That is, it’s not grounded in any­thing. When I look at each of your points, I don’t get any un­der­stand­ing of why these goals would ac­tu­ally be ra­tio­nal and worth­while pur­su­ing, I feel like you sort of have to ap­proach your list with goals already in mind. Maybe, this is just about differ­ent ways that we would ap­proach the same is­sue, but if I was cre­at­ing a similar list I would first look at what the fun­da­men­tal hu­man needs are. If you know what these are and you also know what causes peo­ple to flour­ish, then you can de­velop your goals around that. This would prob­a­bly give you very similar goals, but it would also let you know why and when the goals are worth pur­su­ing. It would also let you know which goals are cur­rently worth spend­ing the most amount of re­sources and effort pur­su­ing as you can look at how much you are meet­ing each of the fun­da­men­tal hu­man needs. Then you can find gaps and choose ap­pro­pri­ate goals that will fill those gaps.

I found the be­low re­sources to be use­ful when I briefly looked into the fun­da­men­tal hu­man needs.

• Maslows rank­ing of needs, but I don’t think the cur­rent re­search backs up the or­der or idea or rank­ing.

• Man­fred Max-Neef talked about fun­da­men­tal hu­man needs

• There’s also this book by Martin Selig­man and oth­ers which clas­sifies the char­ac­ter strengths and virtues Sum­mary of the virtues here

The be­low table of virtues (ba­si­cally what makes a good per­son), see above link for more de­tails, is prob­a­bly a good start­ing point for some­thing to base your goals on

$\dpi{130}\tiny\begin\{bmatrix\}Love&Kindness&Social\,Intelligence& & \\\\Judgment&Curiosity&Creativity&Love\,of\,Learning&Perspective\\\\Bravery&Perseverance&Honesty&Zest& \\\\Teamwork&Fairness&Leadership& & \\\\Forgiveness&Humility&Prudence&Self\,regulation& \\\\Appreciation\,of\,beauty/excellence&Gratitude&Hope&Humour&Spirituality\\\\\end\{bmatrix\}$

Here are some more goals that I could think of

• Prac­tic­ing ap­pre­ci­a­tion/​gratitude

• Find­ing ways to get into flow or the zone

• Prac­tic­ing think­ing in eclec­tic per­spec­tives, i.e. try­ing to un­der­stand how things would be from a differ­ent view point. For ex­am­ple, try­ing to un­der­stand what an­other per­son is think­ing or feel­ing?

• Is be more ra­tio­nal in your list? Maybe, some­thing like more closely fol­low the 12 virtues of rationality

Here are some of your goals that I don’t re­ally un­der­stand why they are worth pursuing

• Be­ing first

• legacy

• fame/​renoundness

Maybe, if you have a differ­ent per­sona or per­son­al­ity than I do then you would find these worth pur­su­ing, but I don’t. I’m not sure they are ra­tio­nal things to be pur­su­ing ei­ther. Th­ese seem like things that come af­ter you be­come awe­some at some­thing and you can only be­come awe­some at some­thing if you love do­ing it. You sim­ply wont be able to love it if you are only do­ing it for some ul­te­rior mo­tive like want­ing fame. Now, I un­der­stand why you would lead­er­ship if you feel like you are in a cer­tain po­si­tion where you be­lieve you can do more good than the cur­rent peo­ple in charge or if there is a gap that needs to be filled, but it doesn’t seem worth pur­su­ing power just for pow­ers sake.

• Yes this list has no base, but its less-bad than not hav­ing goals or a map of com­mon goal-space and not know­ing where to look for in­spira­tion in the area.

Power was a late ad­di­tion to the list; while I can agree that power is un­usual; it may be /​a/​ goal of /​a/​ per­son (to ob­tain power for power’s sake).

Similarly find­ing a way to leave a legacy be­hind, i.e. set­ting up a sus­tain­able foun­da­tion to shape the fu­ture of hu­man­ity (i.e. no­bel prizes). and leave your­self with a legacy (with­out of which Alfred no­bel would be known only for the in­ven­tion of TNT—which he did not want). This is po­ten­tially a goal-class of hu­mans to have.

I also care not for fame nor con­quer. But I can sup­pose that some­one else might. And might want to think about how to achieve those things.

I think that grat­i­tude falls un­der ei­ther spiritu­al­ity or self-aware­ness. So I will up­date the de­scrip­tion to in­clude it. Flow is a self aware­ness skill (and I will up­date it to be in­cluded there) Per­spec­tives is also a self-aware­ness trait Ra­tion­al­ity is definitely a skill/​abil­ity to be trained.

In­ter­est­ing table of virtues; I find them to be a cluster of traits any per­son would want (var­i­ously) along the jour­ney to pur­su­ing their goals. But not goals of them­selves. “brav­ery” is a good thing to have; or to carry, but does not be­come a goal of it­self. Just be­cause you are brave; does not mean you know what you will next do with that brav­ery.

Th­ese goals are not by any means ra­tio­nal. Some of them might be ir­ra­tional. But that doesn’t stop some peo­ple from chas­ing af­ter them. And I don’t know if I have any right to be the per­son who defines which goals are ir­ra­tional for an­other per­son. I can only leave that up to the reader.

It is an­other pro­cess (an­other post) to con­sider if goals are ra­tio­nal (or a good idea) and fur­ther “what is the most effec­tive way to achieve the next goal”. But you need a goal first be­fore you can ap­ply those con­sid­er­a­tions to them.

Thanks for your help im­prov­ing this post!

• Alright, I think I mi­s­un­der­stood the over­all point to this post. It is meant to be about goals that peo­ple com­monly have rather than should have or would be good to have. Here’s some more ideas:

• Create some­thing new, not nec­es­sar­ily the first, but some­thing new. For ex­am­ple, you might build a table or write a pro­gram and take en­joy­ment in the fact that you cre­ated it.

• Be treated fairly

• keep up with the Jone­ses—you have money/​wealth already, but there is also the goal of ap­pear­ing like you have money/​wealth

I guess you have de­cided not to in­clude the bor­ing drives and urges like eat food etc.

• goals that peo­ple com­monly have

I have this com­mu­ni­ca­tion prob­lem, I put that in the ti­tle. I am not sure how to make it more clear other than chang­ing the ti­tle words from “list of com­mon goals” to “goals that peo­ple com­monly have”.

Th­ese are new sug­ges­tions. I will add them in.

Bor­ing things I made the as­sump­tion that there is a nat­u­ral hu­man drive for (i.e. re­liev­ing one’s self by pee­ing when ap­pro­pri­ate; eat­ing food; get­ting sleep) the very ba­sic maslow de­sires be­fore higher level goals ap­pear rele­vant.

• 24 Aug 2015 9:25 UTC
1 point

I think the op­tions could be more di­verse. For ex­am­ple, ‘fame/​re­nound­ness’ doesn’t take into ac­count a pos­si­ble wish for blend­ing in, or just for a differ­ent kind of ac­knowl­edges. For ex­am­ple, my sister went to vol­un­teer once and was told there was no need for her to get in­volved, but she was called by my name. Each of us cer­tainly wish peo­ple wouldn’t mis­take us for the other, but it doesn’t mean we wish more peo­ple to know us. Or ‘free­dom’; what if one wants to set­tle down, but not to be ‘trapped’ - one would need to add qual­ifiers to the stated choice, which is not a good fea­ture in a ques­tion­naire.

• de­sire to blend in is one that nei­ther me nor the peo­ple who I asked to re­view came up with! Well done!

Edited: con­for­mity.

It feels like a hol­low goal. I won­der why I didn’t come up with it. To me; (a very non-con­formist per­son) you can never re­ally fit in. As hard as you try; you will never be “nor­mal” be­cause nor­mal is always an av­er­age of the world; so its not a real thing. Then again; other goals like legacy are just as much not real...

• Ac­tu­ally, the ‘get your act to­gether’ is in­ter­est­ing; per­haps ‘self-aware­ness’ can have a spe­cific op­tion of ‘de­bug in­con­sis­ten­cies in your wor­ld­view’?

• As to the perfor­mance ques­tion—are op­tions 1 and 2 not the same? Since it is hard to en­vi­sion a di­a­met­ri­cally op­po­site goal(al­though one might plau­si­bly want to be bet­ter at rec­og­niz­ing oth­ers’ at­tempts at ma­nipu­la­tion), is this more of a lead­ing ques­tion?

• Can you clar­ify what you mean by this? I sus­pect you have sum­marised; but I don’t know which point you are ask­ing about speci­fi­cally. Maybe quote the origi­nal?

• ‘Do you want to be X’, ‘do you want to be able to do X’ - I re­al­ize it’s not ex­actly the same, but maybe the sec­ond one should be stated more like ‘...to oc­ca­sion­ally lighten the mood’, or some such.

• Ex­plic­itly—hav­ing the skills of perform­ing on a stage is differ­ent to ac­tu­ally be­ing the per­son who performs. you might want to train in those abil­ities for the fun of train­ing with­out ac­tu­ally us­ing the skills. That is why both classes are mentioned

• up­date now lists:

Im­prove the tools available—sharpen the axe, write a new app that can do the thing you want, in­vent sys­tems that work for you. pre­pare for when the rest of the work comes along.

that took a while to come up with… and over­laps with self-aware­ness.

• See also the list of hu­man uni­ver­sals (as com­plete as it gets).

• A few brain­stormy ideas:

Sur­vival/​Sus­te­nance—Food/​Water/​Shelter/​Safety

Hu­mor—Jokes/​Comedy

In­ti­macy—Feel­ing emo­tion­ally con­nected/​Phys­i­cal Affec­tion/​Proximity

Val­i­da­tion—Pos­i­tive Feed­back on emo­tions/​feel­ing un­der­stood/​feel­ing that one is good and one matters

• I added sur­vival into health

In­ti­macy falls un­der fam­ily/​so­cial I feel that you can get in­ti­macy out of ei­ther fam­ily en­deav­ours or so­cial en­deav­ours and there is noth­ing of in­ti­macy that falls out­side of those two. (have added to the above but not made a new class of goal)

val­i­da­tion is new and on the list now.

I am not sure how hu­mour is a goal—can you ex­plain more?

• It’s an okay­ish ex­er­cise in brain­storm­ing, one that, if noth­ing else, should drive home the point that there is a plu­ral­ity of goals which can be pur­sued, and that they’re not nec­es­sar­ily com­men­su­rable on a sin­gle good-bad scale.

I was try­ing to do some­thing similar, but un­der the broader um­brella of val­ues rather than just goals – in that from val­ues de­rive not just goals, but also virtues, vices and wor­ld­views. The other differ­ence is that val­ues can be of main­te­nance rather than of max­i­miza­tion or change. Another thing I was work­ing on com­piling (but for a far more ca­sual pur­pose) is a list of as­pira­tions in life that define one’s role in the world, which might be closer to what you’re try­ing to do here.

By com­par­ing your posts to my lists, here’s what I can tell you from my per­spec­tive: don’t ne­glect the more… ig­no­minious things that hu­mans can value. One thing that jumped out to me about your list is that it’s very feel-good and un­ob­jec­tion­able for the most part, fit for a self-help book. This may ob­scure the fact that there are some goals which peo­ple pur­sue in a very real sense but don’t ad­mit to as read­ily. To many peo­ple here this prob­a­bly sounds very Han­so­nian, and in­deed, sta­tus can be listed here, but I also mean things like he­do­nism or sex, or reck­less risk-seek­ing, or a class-based un­der­stand­ing of ad­vance­ment in life, or even laz­i­ness. If you’re try­ing to fol­low this list as a mind­ful­ness or pro­duc­tivity ex­er­cise, an in­visi­bil­ity of such goals can hin­der you if you’re not aware you’re pur­su­ing them in­stead.

Another thing: med­i­tat­ing upon a list of goals is weak­sauce in terms of emo­tional salience. You’d need more elab­o­rate re­lated rit­u­als and per­haps some com­mu­nal­ity in or­der to get re­ally in­spired to work on them. In other words, you’d need to get a bit re­li­gious about it. I don’t have any good sug­ges­tions as to how to act upon this ob­ser­va­tion (with­out hav­ing to swal­low up a whole lot of ac­com­pa­ny­ing bul­lshit), but it’s just some­thing I thought I should throw out there.

• I don’t ex­pect any rit­ual more com­pli­cated to even be tried by some­one. Not sure how to rit­u­al­ise this task in a way that makes it equally do-able and more likely to cause progress...