I chuckled at a very truthful comment by Ericson Smith –
It’s rarely said that marriage, kids, job, degree, a house, car, and most physical things are not missions. And in fact, most of these things – unless accompanied by a “why am i doing this” and attendant missions/goals do not lead to happiness. Marriage without goals = divorce. Kids without mission = abandonment. Money without a plan = poverty. Degree without a plan = debt/sadness. Relationship without a mission = break up. Programming without a mission = abandoned code.
This all started with a well articulated article, Perseverance Toward Life Goals Can Fend Off Depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorders.
“People who don’t give up on their goals (or who get better over time at not giving up on their goals) and who have a positive outlook appear to have less anxiety and depression and fewer panic attacks, according to a study of thousands of Americans over the course of 18 years.”
Depression, anxiety and panic disorders are common mental health disorders that can be chronic and debilitating and put a person’s physical health and livelihood at risk. Often, people with these disorders are stuck in a cycle of negative thought patterns and behaviors that can make them feel worse.
The research findings suggest that people can improve their mental health by raising or maintaining high levels of tenacity, resilience and optimism. Aspiring toward personal and career goals can make people feel like their lives have meaning. On the other hand, disengaging from striving toward those aims or having a cynical attitude can have high mental health costs.