Don’t hold your goals like Gollum

They should be goals and not GOLLUMS. You don’t want to end up like the one formerly known as Smiegel, from The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkein. 


“Strong opinions, loosely held”


As Paul Saffo from the Institute for the Future is credited as saying. Well, the same should be said of our grand dreams and goals. 


Strong goals, loosely held. 


You see the principles of the Minimum Viable Lifestyle (MVL) and An Audience-of-None defend us against the traps of over-investing in grandiose dreams, if those dreams rely on external factors beyond our control. 


These questions are interested in, What is the least your life could be?


For achievement does not bring happiness


Evidence of that is here and here

But does that mean we should not contribute or achieve to humanity? No. But if we become too rooted in our goals, we lock ourselves in a box, and don’t notice if the world changes, or if a better goal becomes more worthy of our attention. 


How do we protect against this? 


Strong goals, grand dreams… but loosely held. 


By not over-identifying with goals and narrow boxes, we cheat what has traditionally been a harsh trade-off – the very one that leaves so many publicly ‘successful’ people miserable in their personal lives. 

We view each step closer to the grandest version of our goals, our dreams, as a bonus – not essential. 


To cling to your goal too tightly is to go from a man to Gollum. To allow obsession warp your reality, and then warp your soul and appearance so you are no longer man, but something horrible… something less…

If you become your goals, you begin to serve them, when instead they should be serving you. In the end of the trilogy, Gollum is not the master of the ring – he is the slave. 


And the slave fittingly follows his foolish, poisonous goal into the fire. 


Great Goals follow the Law of ‘Ensuement’


They cannot be pursued directly – rather they are incidental.

Thanks once again to Liam, who inspired this one. 


Who do you think of when you read this? Would this piece ‘open a door’ for someone you know? Why wouldn’t you share it with them?

Remember, the best way to open a thousand doors for you is to open a thousand doors for others. 

With Joe Wehbe – The Podcast

Stream podcast now.

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