Goals and Ideals
On retreat last week, a question was given to me... What is the difference between goals and ideals? As I have reflected upon it more and more, here is what I seem to come up with...
Both are something we work towards here on earth. Sometimes intentionally, and other times we just "go with the flow" of goals and ideals that society has set for us.
A goal is something you create. You make the standard for it. Of course there are some goals such as with school grade levels, and standards of achievement that family, friends, and society set for us however in a way it is not really a goal until you agree to it. Sometimes we agree with our formal "yes" to it, and at other times we agree with our silence.
There is an end to a goal. It usually can be achieved at some point in time. Our goals are either achieved or not based upon what we value with most, and our levels of discipline/commitment.
The ideal is something that is already designed into nature. It is something that can be universally explored and eventually understood. Some people may say things like "my ideal situation" or "my ideal job" etc. but this is more of a matter of opinion/personal preference which is probably based in their level of comfort. When this is harmful to others or does not coincide with the universal ideals then it is usually met with opposition at some point in time.... Such is the way of justice.
The ideal is never ending. You can get closer to it but it is never fully achieved on earth. Ironically, in an ideal reality all goals would point towards the ideal and be checkpoints along the way.
The deeper question in this discussion however seems to be about how we view our identity. It is in how we see ourselves, that we will in turn see our brothers and sisters, and the rest of the world. However we identify ourselves is what aligns our values, and further into our consistent thoughts as well as our daily actions.
At the end of the day it seems it is as St. Francis once told someone that he prays every night.... "God, who am I? And God, who are you?"
For if God is truly the infinite and the greatest, then he himself is the Ideal, and all of our goals aligned by our values created from our identity would point towards him.
- All is Love
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