Without Goals in life you don’t know where you’re heading
Goal 1: A fulfilling career
We spend 1/3rd of our lives working and job is one of the most important aspects of our life. Career isn’t a destination but a path. Each work day is a step and each decision and opportunity can change the course of the route we’re walking.
For me, a job isn’t only a way to get a paycheck, but a way to self-develop, solve problems and challenge myself. My definition of a fulfilling career is: doing something that’s pleasurable, suitable and challenging while having growth potential. When the job is pleasurable I can go into a flow state and deliver the best results. As Aristotle puts it: “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”. A job that’s suitable for my character will help me leverage my strengths and creativity while making me much happier and more productive. Homer’s explanation is that: “Each man delights in the work that suits him best”. Challenge is the only way to grow; a challenging job has higher growth potential. Seneca noted that: “A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”
Goal 2: Getting financially secure
Money definitely isn’t everything and can’t buy happiness. However, the lack thereof can lead to serious problems. Money gives you the privilege of better life quality, better conditions, and better opportunities. As a half-orphan with poverty level resources, I had a hard childhood. I had to work at a very young age. This fact affected significantly my studies since my choices for higher education were very limited by location and subjects. I was working after classes during high school, Bachelor and Master years. That limited drastically my time for studying, resting and socializing. With sacrifices, I was able to push through it and graduate with excellent scores and honours.
I’m not saying that I didn’t develop a character going through these difficulties. What I’m implying is that if I had the right resources it would’ve been a much easier and enjoyable experience and I’d have much greater opportunities for learning more, socializing more, and being more confident.
When you’re financially secure money becomes one less thing to think about. Financial security ripples through many different aspects of your life and you can devote your focus on the really important things in life: fulfillment, love, virtue, contribution, improvement. Being able to afford luxuries and material things is completely irrelevant to my goal of financial security as I do not pursue such things. The main motive behind my goal of financial security has to do with my long term family plans. I don’t want my children to have to go through the hardships I’ve been through. Instead, I want them to have equal opportunities with children coming from wealthy families.
Goal 3: Getting a Ph.D. in the field of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
During my first year in university, I got inspired to become an academic. The person who inspired me was my professor in Sociology, Political Marketing and Cyberspace Culture Dr. Dionysis Panos. His teaching style and personality really captivated me; he became my idol. During my years of study, I worked hard and finished my Bachelor degree with an excellent grade (1st Honours).
After graduating I enrolled immediately in a Master degree. There my inspiration to become an academic increased by my professor in Strategic Marketing and SME (Small to Medium Enterprises) Management Dr. Pavlos Symeou. I idolized him because of his prestigious, challenging and interactive teaching style. He was also my Master’s thesis supervisor. I worked hard once again and achieved academic excellence by graduating with excellent (1st honours) and finished 1st in class.
After graduating from my Master’s degree I decided to postpone my goal of getting a Ph.D. because I couldn’t decide the exact area or topic for academic research. Instead, I decided to search for a fulfilling job and begin my Ph.D. right after I find a topic I’m passionate about. I’m planning to work and do my Ph.D. simultaneously just like I did when I was doing my Bachelor and Master degrees. I did this before and I’m sure I can do it again with hard work, consistency, and dedication.
Goal 4: Creating a Non-profit that will fight depression
According to WHO (World Health Organization), more than 300 million people worldwide from all age groups suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide and in many cases leads to suicide. I’ve lost someone really close to me because of depression and for this reason, I want to do my best to tackle the issue and help as many people as possible to rehab and find their way back to happiness.
My goal is to create a non-profit that will help people struggling with depression. The vision I have for this non-profit is to create a community that will tackle directly the leading causes of depression (social isolation, unemployment, abuse, death or loss, genetics, etc.) and combine action with therapy that will directly solve the root of the problem. For example, if someone suffers from depression because he’s been chronically unemployed, then the community’s action will be to help this person go back to the work environment. If a person suffers from depression because he’s been socially isolated, then the community’s action will be to help this person go back to a social circle.
Furthermore, the non-profit will focus more on natural ways of preventing and curing depression such as exercise. For example, a 2016 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research indicated that exercise is a legitimate treatment for people suffering from depression. “Our data strongly support the claim that exercise is an evidence-based treatment for depression” (Schuch, Vancampfort, et al., 2016).
Schuch, F. B., Vancampfort, D., Richards, J., Rosenbaum, S., Ward, P. B., & Stubbs, B. (2016). Exercise as a treatment for depression: a meta-analysis adjusting for publication bias. Journal of psychiatric research, 77, 42-51.
Goal 5: Writing and publishing a book on practical philosophy
I’ve been a huge fan of philosophy and as a book lover, I’ve read many classic and modern philosophy books. The study of philosophy is constantly impacting my life in different areas. One thing that many of the books have in common is that they give good advice but don’t provide a practical implementation framework. Wisdom is applied knowledge and passive learning isn’t nearly as good as active learning when it comes to knowledge retention and implementation.
My goal is to write a practical non-one size fits all philosophy book, based on ancient and modern philosophies that will have practical exercises (in the form of digital interactive content, written exercises, and gamification). With this project, I aim to inspire people’s interest in a philosophy that will suit their character and make them happier.