We get our "so-thats" mixed up such that they seem like the goal.  But they are not, they are merely the means that you must use so that you get to the end goal.  These are also called the "in-order-to"s:.  "In order to get what I want I must do this."

The classic "so-that" is money.  If it becomes the goal, it is endless, with no "I've arrived" in it or it is so overmphasized that we lose some of the end goals (such as happiness) because we took away time from reaching those end goals.


The end goal is a maximum accumulation of "units of value".  See What Is Life About? How To Maximize Happiness In Life.

The end goals of life are reached from: 

1.  Instances of experiences: to have enjoyed the movie and feel good about it, appreciating it,
2.  "Seeing" (looking, paying attention to, savoring) the value accrued (what you value is what makes you "feel good" enduringly). 
3.  "Solving" (or eliminating) what result in you feeling "bad".  "Feeling bad" is a subtractor, so eliminating it is a means to having more "net" value.
having done what is of value to us (contribution)
4.  The feeling of being loving
5.  Appreciating that one has lived, and is living, a good lifewherein one
    a. Has enjoyed life
    b. Has fond memories 
    c. Has enjoyed nature and all that is available in the world  
    d. Sees and appreciates the miracle of it all
    e. Has been loved, has felt appreciated, has been affirmed (but not dependent on
        it, for that dependency feeling is a "subtractor" from the good feelings)


We often fail to notice that something we do over and over in time may become less effective in getting us to the end goals.  We think "well, it worked before to give me a lot of value", so we assume (or don't "think" it out) that it will keep giving me value or the same value.

Well, most things don't give us the same value from adding more of the same thing to the pile.  For instance, once we have a certain amount of money (usually about $75,000 of income, or, in terms of "having", enough money to last for a lifetime of security), then, per all of the surveys, earning additional income adds very, very little to happiness.  And because of this, it is better to spend our time doing other things that add more happiness to our lives instead of using our time.

The whole idea revolves around "maximizing our cumulative units of value".  Since doing any one thing will often have diminishing returns over time, in life we need to always look at what is the next thing to do that will give us the most value for the time spent.   If A will only have a little value to add and B has alot of potential value, we would switch to that.  Always asking, in our planning, what will produce the greatest value (not in total) in terms of value per amount of time.  Always do that. (See Operating Based On Marginal Returns - Stop When They Are Not As Great As The Alternative!)


We get further to the endgoal as we accumulate more. 

But if we do something and then the effect of it disappears, it has little value in terms of adding value to the total.  It simply disappears into nothing, a pleasant thing for the moment (which is just fine) but not as good as something that adds to, or further solidifies, our long term opinion of ourselves and/or life.  Of course, lots of pleasant experiences do tend to impress on our memory that "life is good" and that generally we have lots of good experiences, so it does, in that sense add to the cumulative pile or at least affirm it.  

There is a classic "question" asked of people:  "If you could do something really wonderful and you just had to put in very little effort for it AND then you were to  have no memory of it, would you do it?"  Most people would not ... hmmm...isn't that interesting??!!!  


Read the main piece:   Confusing The "Means To" With The True Goal - A Mistake That Can Cost You Much Of Your Life.


A few tidbits:

A good philosophy is essential and hugely impactful.

We should always be asking, and adjusting based on the answer "What increases the quality of the experience?" and "What diminishes (or eliminates) the bad quality ones?"

Personal growth is a "so that", not a goal in itself.  But it is a huge "so that"!!!!

A sense of play (well, I'll never get out of it alive anyway!) is a huge reliever of anxiety and tends to set up a happy mindset of enjoying even the little things in life.

Not being secure "feels" awful - and it causes "bad chemicals" - so we need to know that "it will all work out" so we are not engaged in "feeling insecure".   And we need to have fewer criteria (or more realistic criteria) for what we have to have in order to be happy.   Read  The Effects Of Expectations In Life And In Relationships - A Major Creator Of Unhappiness - Needlessly!.

These things add to the value of life and/or prevent some of the negative subtractors: So thats,  identifying values, setting and using standards and rules.

Things that we often think of as "painful", such as work, could be enjoyed, instead, if on knows and fully acknowledges that it will get us more to our endgoals.

One "hidden" gem is the knowledge of knowing when to quit on the money and materiality thing.  If one gains security for life at a basic modest level and trades off trying to get more money for doing other things in life, one will be vastly happier than the person who doesn't know where or when to quit (and only obtains small value while giving up other opportunities for more value in life).

Confusing The "Means To" With The True Goal - A Mistake That Can Cost You Much Of Your Life - From money, security to pleasing others and any excessive behaviors that do not contribute true value to life.

The true meaning

To be created: The Scorecard For My Life - Number of units accumulated, how many more I want or need in a particular area, how I am doing so far, basics included (as enough, if we focus on them).   Try a daily or weekly one, certainly a yearly one.  Base it on this piece:  Maximizing Meaning In Life - Experiencing The Highest Value.

The Meaning Of Life, Life's Purpose - The Why And The Wherefore Of Life  

Other scorecards to create:  wellness

Review when design:  Balanced Scorecard