Hima Tammineedi


Life Quests, not Goals

Published: Mar 3, 2020

Some people say they have goals that they want to accomplish in life.

I, however, have goals and quests.

I'll explain what quests are, but I would recommend reevaluating your goals and considering turning some of them into quests. If you adopt this framing of quests and goals, then you might be able to better approach some of the things you want to do in life.

This quests and goals mindset is something I thought of in the past few years just because it seemed natural for me to think of things in this way.

What are quests?

In many games, you are often given a multitude of quests (like slay 100 trolls, find a chicken in the castle, etc.), and if you complete a quest, you will receive some kind of reward. These are not goals. For it to be a goal, it would mean that you need to achieve it or else you have lost the game or can't progress forward.

For a quest though, there's no pressure to complete it. You'll have a multitude of quests available to you, and you can freely choose to embark upon the quests that interest you at this time. If you complete a quest, then that's fantastic, and you'll get some kind of reward. If you fail, then sure you may be a bit sad, but perhaps you can try again, and regardless, it was hopefully a fun or educational experience in trying to complete the quest.

In the same way that quests exist in games, you can also set quests for yourself in the game of life. When you set quests for yourself, you're telling yourself that these would be cool things that I would like to do, but if I don't do them or I fail at them, it's not too big of a deal. I'll feel pretty awesome if I do complete a life quest, but I won't feel that bad if I don't.

A life goal on the other hand, would be a task that you think is a critical milestone for who you are in life and what you want to do. You may want to change your goals at some point, or it may not be too terrible if you fail to achieve a goal, but a goal is still probably something important to you. We'll talk more about goals in the next section.

To give you some examples, some of my quests include: being able to draw and sing well. I ideally want to do these things, and they would be very fun to do, but I probably won't direct all my energy towards them.

You should still set goals

I think that more people should think in terms of this quests vs goals mindset.

But, you should still have goals too. It's just that people only have goals right now, whereas some of those “goals” could be quests instead.

For example, a real goal I have is to create something that creates immense value in the world (it significantly improves the current state of the world).

If I don't achieve this, then I actually will feel that I have failed. But, this is fine by me since this matters to me a lot (of course I'm not going to mope about failing, but I will have to acknowledge that I didn't accomplish this goal at some point if it doesn't work out.) We may not achieve all our goals, but we can have fun trying.

Another one of my goals for my life is to help more people increase and achieve their potentials since I feel that so much more can be created in the world, but that most people are lacking the motivation, guidance, or resources to do more. I’m always trying to do this, so this goal won’t ever be officially completed - it’s an ongoing goal of mine.

Side quests

Not all of your quests will be of the same importance. You might have some big quests in your life that you think would be really great if you accomplished, and there will be other smaller mini / side quests that might just be fun to do, but that you won't often think about.

Some of my side quests include: organizing a random multi-day physically exhausting trip somewhere with two people I don't know that well, and trying to be a long-haul truck driver for a bit.

You might similarly categorize your goals too as small or big goals.

Only quests?

Some people advocate for not setting goals at all and to instead just focus on the process instead of the end result. If you follow that mentality you might consider only setting quests for yourself.

I think that if there's something you really care about though, then you will want to set goals.

Why have quests?

The problem I see currently is that some people have way too many goals, which causes them to be confused about which direction to go in, or people have no goals because they think calling something a goal is too serious and they're worried about failing if they say they have a goal.

So if you have way too many goals right now, then I think reconsidering them and figuring out which are the ones really important to you (goals) and which are the ones that would just be cool to do (quests) would help give you better direction. This way, you can now try to go in the direction of your few goals, while maybe doing some quests along the way.

And if you have no goals right now because you are scared of proclaiming this goal loudly and failing, then consider making it a quest. It's totally fine to loudly shout that you have a quest to do something because even if you fail, that's fine!

If you have no goals right now solely because you don't have anything worthy of being a goal, that's fine too! Not everyone needs to have a goal. So instead, just enjoy your time going on fun quests, and who knows, maybe along the way, you'll realize that there is something worthy of becoming a goal :).

Think of your next quest right now before you forget.