Listen, I realise any discussion of goals can be tricky. But at least for this discussion, I find it helpful to think of a goal simply as an object of desire. It’s something I want.
But here’s the rub: We are really bad at knowing what we actually want.
In fact, we learn what we want by watching what other people want. From the youngest age, we learn to desire by seeing what our parents, siblings, and peers desire, followed eventually by what people on social media desire.
In a very real sense, we co-opt other people’s goals because it’s actually very hard to get clear about our own.
This can wreak havoc in so many areas of our lives, but particularly when it comes to our relationship with money.
There’s an old saying that we spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t want to impress people we don’t even like. This happens when we shop for cars or houses or investments.
You hear your wealthy uncle talking about how important it is to own municipal bonds. He must be really smart because he has a bunch of money, right? Suddenly, you think you should go buy municipal bonds, too.
You hear about all the cool kids investing in startups and all the fancy people buying Teslas. Maybe you should do that, too.
But here’s the thing: None of that matters. None of it.
The only goals that matter when it comes to your money are your goals. Not anyone else’s.