Habitually I think about goals. The word goal is too ambiguous to be useful. If someone asks you what’s your goal, what are the possible answers that come to mind? You could think to kill a mosquito who’s been pestering you. Or you could think to give back to your community. You could think to make a million dollars before 30, or you could think to not feel stressed about money. Even though all are completely valid, they bounce all over. Some take minutes, some lifetimes. Some are focused externally, some internally. Some could be running from a hell like the goal to lose 30 pounds before you reunite with your ex-wife so she doesn’t think you a loser. Some could be running towards a heaven like getting a date with the beautiful women down the hall.

Yet, humans are complex creatures. We hit on all of these levels at once, moment to moment, with a range of goals wanting different things and on different levels of abstraction.

The guy walking down the hall approaching the door of that beautiful women also feels the hell of being alone, and also fears the hell of being embarrassed or saying the wrong things. The guy chasing a million dollars is doing it for the internal reason to be stress-free about money. Currently, I passionately want to kill this bloody mosquito so I can focus on this blog entry so I can share my thoughts with the world so I can inspire a billion new writers to join the dance of life so I can create world peace so I can show the team of aliens who are watching us that we’re ready for our next step in evolution.

Perhaps this is why creating a humanized character is damn difficult, a character who’s has wholeness and a complex set of motivations. A professional writer is a master of this word goal. He uses it with a flexible mind, one that shifts its frame depending on the demand.