Education Article #2: For the Joy of Sharing

Don’t Let Goals Drive You Crazy

By Jiayin Zheng
Algorithm Engineer, Beijing, China

Foreword by Venkat
Every learning goal in its intention must bring changes in our long term memory, and transform us in the way we think. Both cannot be achieved by being “air-dropped” to the goal. This transformational process can only happen step by step through a rigorous journey towards the goal. Once transformed, the goal which was earlier set as an endpoint becomes the starting point for the next one. Hence truly speaking continuous learning is never about ‘reaching’ anywhere. Nevertheless, goal-setting is an important practice in learning but one may get lost without understanding the true intention of the learning goal. Jiayin shares her experience as she found her way out of the confusion with too much focus on achieving goals with multiple things to work on. Many people especially the young, face the same stress and confusion. This gets fueled with the peer level competition and social media spotlight on goals misconceived as endpoints to be ravished upon.

Explore the pitfalls of wrong focus on goals through Jiayin’s engaging narrative and succinct message.


I am an algorithm engineer who has graduated three years ago. I believe that artificial intelligence will greatly change people’s way of life in the near future. I am honored to use data to create some value for people. I love reading all types of books, literature and psychology, I also love to travel, experience different ways of life, make friends from all over the world, and learn about different cultures and beliefs.

Don’t let goals drive you crazy

Have you ever thought that your internal friction, procrastination and depression has just come from your goals? There was a time when I was very anxious, had too many things I wanted to do, and was always prone to self-doubt and unhappy. Until one day I reflected on the status quo and found that the way goals are set can make one to fall into misconceptions on improvement.

First of all, the logic of anything is in the process of doing it first, and then seeing some result. Most of the time we tend to set the goal on this result, but in fact it should be set on the process underlying it. For example, if you set a goal of 120 points in the math test, then when you aim at this goal to review, every wrong question may bring down your confidence a little. Every time you watch a short video, you will feel guilty, feeling that your willpower is too weak, and become depressed. Therefore, this goal will not only fail to guide your actions, but will also bring frustration and make you doubt your own abilities. We need to change our thinking and change the goal of scoring 120 points in the math test to doing 50 thematic trainings every day, and doing a mock test and review once a week. Replacing the 120-point goal like this will give you more motivation, and in the process of execution, every small task you complete will also increase your confidence and sense of accomplishment, even if you don’t end up doing a score of 120, it must be definitely a big improvement over your current skill level.

The important thing is that you are happy and confident in the whole process, and you can usher in the best results with the best state of mind. So from now on, focus on what you’re doing, split big goals into small ones. Don’t worry, because by setting goals on the process/practice, we’re always on the road to getting better.

By Jiayin Zheng
Algorithm Engineer, Beijing, China


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J Vaidhinathanj
J Vaidhinathanj
May 15, 2022 6:29 am

Aim for ambitious achievement and you are bound to reach, if not at least neat it.
Former President of India Abdul Kalam
Split your goals to small one to achieve…Jiayin has correctly out it. Nicely written. Compliments.