The conventional path of accumulating optionality gives you reassuring but fragile options. In contrast, the best options — which involve lots of experimenting and tinkering — may feel riskier in the short term but will help you thrive through uncertainty.
“What am I here for?” is one of the oldest questions humans have been grappling with. For millennia, religion has provided for many a source of meaning — the comforting idea that someone was in control and that, even if we didn’t have the ability to comprehend it all, the world ultimately made sense. With … Read More
We live in a world obsessed with outcomes. At school, we’re encouraged to climb an artificial leaderboard that reflects our test scores. At work, performance is based on reaching specific targets, sometimes known as OKRs for “Objectives and Key Results.” In this goal-based society, success is defined by how our peers evaluate our track record. … Read More
“When I achieve this goal, then I will be happy.” If you’ve ever experienced such a when/then thought pattern, you’re not alone. Whether you’re aiming to run a marathon, get a promotion at work or buy your first house, having a goal in mind can increase your motivation. However, we often mistakenly believe that achieving … Read More
Personal agency, or self-agency, describes the experiences we have when we set goals for ourselves and take action to achieve them. People with high agency feel a sense of control over their lives, and they can make decisions about what they want or need and act to meet those needs. On the other hand, people … Read More
Do you sometimes feel like you must achieve demanding goals in order to be happy and successful? That you must deliver the best work or get the best grades; that you must educate the most well-behaved children; that you must follow the perfect diet or exercise routine? Anything but perfection is not good enough. Well, … Read More
Despite my existential doubts, I have always considered myself a fairly ambitious person. Of course, between my education by two driven parents—you don’t go from cleaning lady to director without a bit of ambition—and a potential but still elusive ambition gene, I don’t have anything to brag about. But, for some reason, since I was … Read More