Achieve Goal Alignment to Set Yourself Up for Success

How do you choose goals? Do you set goals that actually fit you?

Deepak Chopra argues that you have innate gifts and talents that you’re meant to contribute to the world—and that you should choose goals that align with these natural tendencies because they feel more meaningful and enjoyable to pursue. He claims that aligning your strengths, interests, and positive intentions in this way creates the perfect environment for success.

Here’s how to achieve goal alignment to get on the road to true success.

Achieving Goal Alignment

Chopra notes that goal alignment—directing your natural talents and positive intentions toward goals you enjoy—increases your engagement, keeps you focused on what you want to experience, discourages resistant thoughts, and creates an easy and natural momentum. As a result, your thought-energy flows to what you want to experience, reflects your positive energy, and creates experiences that feel meaningful and satisfying. In contrast, goals that don’t align with your natural strengths and interests deplete your energy and move you further away from satisfaction and joy. These goals distract you from what you’re meant to be doing: Instead, you wastefully direct your thought-energy to things that you think you should do.

(Shortform note: According to research in the area of positive psychology, Chopra’s advice to align your goals with your natural inclinations rather than what you think you should do does indeed improve your chances of successfully achieving these goals: You’re more likely to feel motivated and experience an upward emotional spiral (increased feelings of happiness and satisfaction) when you pursue goals that genuinely interest you. This positive mental state allows you to access the best parts of yourself—your unique strengths and talents—and apply them to successfully achieve your goal.)

Why would you choose misaligned goals that can never satisfy you? According to Chopra, it’s because you’re allowing your concerns regarding money, time, or what other people expect you to do to prevent you from discovering your natural inclinations. He suggests that you give yourself permission to discover your natural strengths and learn more about what brings you joy.

Distinguish Between Aligned Goals and Misaligned Goals

The authors of Minimalism offer a more specific explanation for why you would choose misaligned goals based on what you think you should do, rather than your natural talents. They claim that there are four obstructions holding you back from discovering your natural inclinations and interests: identity, status, certainty, and money. For example, you may focus on career goals that drain your energy rather than trying to find goals that align with your interests because your financial security and sense of identity are tied up with your career status. 

Become aware of how these obstructions influence you, and distinguish between the goals and activities that satisfy you (aligned) and the ones that don’t (misaligned), by tracking all of the activities you take part in over the next few weeks. Next, reflect on each activity by asking yourself the following questions: 

Is this something I want to do or am I fulfilling external expectations?

Do I enjoy this? If so, what’s the most enjoyable aspect of it?

Does this make me feel energized or drained? Motivated or unmotivated?

How can I create opportunities to engage more in the activities that I enjoy?
Achieve Goal Alignment to Set Yourself Up for Success

Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, science, and philosophy. A switch to audio books has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a creative nonfiction book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

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