Is It Wrong To Have Goals In Buddhism?

Hi VagabondSumitta,Good afternoon. I have admired your posts for some time. 🙂

I’d like to ask you a question regarding Buddhism. Is it wrong or “unskillful” to practice Buddhism and have goals? Is it an unskillful mentality to work towards a goal? Or, maybe it is OK if you are unattached to the result?

I am going through some changes in my life and would like to know if it is “un-Buddhist” to start being more goal-directed.

Thank you for your time and your posts.

Dhamma-follower,If you have a determination to be a good person– is that a goal? If you need to eat tonight– is that a goal?

Meditation by its etymology means “effort.”

Having a goal is not wrong. Commit to being mindful and investigate what actions and goals you have. If you find that they are wholesome– developing compassion, morality, mindfulness and liberation from suffering— then go for it!

Also be mindful if you are developing unwholesome cravings and clinging to your goals. This means that you should always be re-evaluating what and why you are doing. This is how you avoid becoming lost along your path.

Categories: Buddha, Dharma, Divorce, Ethics, Four Noble Truths, Kharma, Lifestyle, Mahayana, Marriage, Meditation, New Age, Noble Eightfold Path, Philosophy, Relationships, Theravada, Tibet, Virajana, Work


Born Joshua Hudson, Reverend Sumitta (his ordained name) finished a twenty-year career as a military photo-journalist, and became a Licensed Social Worker with continuing studies in Mental Health, Healthcare Advocate, and Buddhist Minister. Currently, he works as the Director of Psychological Health and Primary Prevention of Violence for the U.S. Air Force. Previously, he served as the healthcare patient advocate for the Veterans Healthcare Administration, and is a License Clinical Social Worker, with a Master’s in Clinical Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, working as a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor, public speaker, trainer and personal/family advisor. His dharma name "Sumitta," which translates to "Good Friend" in Pali.


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