Are You Chasing Empty Goals?

which is your goal



I heard the actor Matt Damon explain something on TV over the weekend. He was on Graham Norton’s chat show, and he was discussing his Oscar win for his (and Ben Afflecks) screenplay Good Will Hunting back in 1997. His chat with Graham Norton went a bit like this …

‘So I won the Oscar at age 27. And after all the champagne, when I was back home, my (then) girlfriend was asleep and I just looked at my award. It was just me and it. And all I could think was “thank god I didn’t have to fuck anyone over to get this” …” thank god I didn’t spend a whole lifetime trying to get one of these, because this alone could never be enough. This could never fill a hole” … thank god I learnt that at such an early age ‘

It struck me that he seemed to have a credulous appreciation for understanding what stuff could make him eternally happy, and what stuff never could.

And at 27. His Oscar wasn’t enough.

There are dreams. Then there are dreams. Some can fill you up. Some never can. Some can still leave you feeling empty. 

Of course dreams and goals are all entirely subjective. So one person’s Oscar is another person’s Ferrari. Or Business … or Marriage … or baby, or prize winning carrot crop etcetera etcetera.

But what if you do get your Oscar (and I’m being all metaphorical now) what then? What next?


So, there I was sitting on the sofa on Friday night, big glass of red wine in my hand; sleepy husband beside me. And I couldn’t help but get all late-night-slightly-drunk and introspective and ask myself ‘what, so far, is enough for me in this here life?’(seeing as I will never be in receipt of an Oscar anyway. Metaphorical or otherwise)

Well that is easy. My husband is. He is enough. He is all I will ever need. He fills me up.

(sorry to get all ‘Whitney’ on you … Also, don’t be crude. I know what you’re thinking)

Now, I would add my children in here too because of course, they are the centre of our universe …But,  I am fully aware that they will journey away from us one day, as is only right. They will have their own lives to lead with their own dreams. And so I fear that seeking a full-on lifelong feeling of completion from ones children may eventually prove futile.

I think that lots of people just don’t take the time to figure this stuff out. Dreams and goals I mean. And sometimes, when they do, it’s often too late because they’ve already fucked it. ‘It’ being what matters most to them. (Sorry to use the ‘F’ word but, Matt Damon started it)

And so I ask – What is ‘enough’ for you? Have you achieved it yet? and if not, can you figure out your empty dreams from your full and meaningful ones?

If you have ‘it’ already, don’t forget to notice, will you.

Don’t get caught up chasing the next thing at the expense of what you already have.

Ooh that was deep, wasn’t it? And perhaps a little bossy. Sorry about that. Am I just spouting nonsense here? should I stop taking Matt Damons teachings so seriously?


10 comments on Are You Chasing Empty Goals?

  • Tori Gabriel

    I have read about this sort of thing from various celebrities. They achieve their dreams (fame, fortune, awards) but it isn’t enough. It makes them feel empty inside. What’s that old expression? “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”.

    I have a wonderful husband, two gorgeous girls and two kitties. It’s not an Oscar to many but it is the best life I could ever have wished for. Thank you for helping me realise that.
    Tori Gabriel recently posted…Pointless Things All Parents SayMy Profile

  • Claire Kane

    Thank you for this post! It’s important to read something every now and then to put things into perspective. The other day I was upset because my OH said he couldn’t afford a foreign holiday next month as we’d planned. I told him I’d find someone else to go with and it wasn’t before long that I realised: it wasn’t the place that mattered it was the person.
    Claire Kane recently posted…Music Monday – 90s Childhood Music MemoriesMy Profile

  • Cardiff Mummy Says - Cathryn

    Yes, I love this post! I am a yoga teacher and something that comes up a lot in some of the yoga books is non-attachment. That we need to be happy just in ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with striving to want better, but that goal mustn’t be the be all and end all, because as you have said, once the initial elation wears off, what are you left with? There will always be someone with bigger or better or more than you. It’s about being happy in the here and now and appreciating that as much as we can too.
    Cardiff Mummy Says – Cathryn recently posted…You can’t call in sick when you’re a mumMy Profile

  • Amanda

    So true! Love Matt Damon anyway, I always think he appears to have his feet firmly on the ground. So insightful! You can spend your whole life coveting something and when you get it realise it is not all “that”.
    Amanda recently posted…Facing the unknownMy Profile

  • Ginger

    First of all- I love the name of your blog! Second, this was a great post. I love this stuff. I love the weird things that we think about, dream about, etc. I really like this stuff! Goals are definately something to sit back and consider. Then reconsider. ✌✌
    Ginger recently posted…How To: Save Money on CableMy Profile

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    I saw that interview too, and when I managed to concentrate 😉 I totally agree, we are so caught up in the next thing, the next goal and I wonder if we miss the pleasure in the now x
    You Baby Me Mummy recently posted…Potty Training on the Go with Huggies Pull-UpsMy Profile

  • Becky, Cuddle Fairy

    I watched that episode too & what he said really struck a cord with me as well. It was an interesting thing to be grateful for & something that people don’t talk about! Really thought provoking & your post asks some very good, self-examining questions x
    Becky, Cuddle Fairy recently posted…Our Weekend in GalwayMy Profile

  • Heather

    Lovely post, lovely Matt Damon…

    For me, aside from my wee brood, it’s getting something small published every now and again and travelling. These are my Oscars. Neither happen very often but when they do I stand up and ride the wave, cause they’re great and are, to me, evidence that I’m growing and learning. Hearing that I’m a good friend is a similar high that means a great deal to me.


  • Michaela Britton

    A lovely post about Matt Damon and more importantly, about your husband. I sometimes sit and think that I would be lost without my husband and thank heavens that I met him those 11 years ago. I think, although we all reach for the stars, it’s great to realise that what we really need and appreciate might actually be already here, on Earth…
    Michaela Britton recently posted…The Role of the Social Worker AssistantMy Profile

  • Ana De- Jesus

    It seems that no matter how many dreams we fulfill we will always be chasing more. Speaking from a personal perspective I am never fully satisfied with anything I do, if I have a good grade I am always expecting higher, I set myself high expectations because I never think that I am good enough and that is something we can all admit to doing.
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…Pulse Clinic: A ReviewMy Profile

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