Self choice and goals

The urge to be different may not be the highest or the profoundest element of the artist’s equipment but it is rarely lacking together’- E.H.Gombrich.

 Self- concordant goals are those we pursue out of deep personal conviction or a self generated interest. These goals according to research from Kennon Sheldon and Andrew Elliot are integrated with the self because they come from ‘self-choice’. Externally directed goals give us stress and depression while self directed ones are those that give us joy and ease. Self chosen goals also stem from the need to express one’s creativity and spirit rather than compete or simply do the job. Research in this area indicates that there is a qualitative difference between the meaning we derive from extrinsic goods, such as social status and salary, and the meaning we derive from intrinsic goods, such as personal growth and a sense of connection to others. Our choices can be a mixture of both self directed and externally directed goals as long as the self-directed goal directs the external manifestation of it. The creative person’s problem perhaps is not that of generating creativity but of continuously letting that internal voice direct the external aims of financial sustainability, fame and expansion, instead of the other way round.


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