It’s good to have goals. As musicians, having goals gives us something to aim for in our lives and careers. The right goal can motivate us to grow and push us towards new heights as musicians that we would most likely fail to reach if we had no goals at all. Having goals give us a direction to orient ourselves towards. It gives us something to do and strive for every day when we get up.
Without goals, it’s all too easy to wander aimlessly, with no real direction or purpose at all as it relates to our music and life in general. One day maybe we dabble in jazz, the next day we try to write a fugue, the next day we go to the beach because we’re not feeling it and so on. Of course, having a freedom and playfulness to our lives can be liberating at times, but without any goals at all, we zig and zag a lot, often times not really getting anywhere.
The problem with goals though, is when we’re so attached to a specific outcome, that we neglect the process and journey of getting there. Or, we get discouraged when we don’t hit the milestones we set for ourselves and stop trying or even give up. This could because we’re not setting the right goals, or we’re simply not motivated enough to do what it takes to make our goals a reality.
Having really big goals gives us something to dream about and work towards. I think they’re mainly positive. Goals become a negative when we set such big goals for ourselves that we become discouraged and depressed if we don’t reach them. Or even worse, maybe we do reach them, but they fail to satisfy us the way we imagined they would. Or we find we’re not quite ready psychologically to deal with the sort of attention and pressure that success brings. (I’ve known people personally who have experienced both of these scenarios).
I made a video recently where I talk about setting goals as musicians, and how to set goals that serve to motivate and inspire us, and how to avoid setting goals that cause us to end up feeling more discouraged and disillusioned than we did before our goals.
Check it out here: