There are those who aspire to change the world for the better, those who bet everything on fame and wealth, those who put the achievement of inner awareness first. Many different aspirations united by the desire to achieve long-term goals. We couldn’t do without them, they are one of the engines of existence, they help us find purpose, motivate us and stimulate us to cultivate hope for a better future.

It is not said that they remain the same for life, they often change with us. And it doesn’t even mean that they are always beneficial, especially when they reflect inauthentic desires, conditioned by the surrounding context. So here ‘s what aspirations are and why you should be focusing on them.

There Are Multiple Types of Aspirations

Aspirations can be of many types and the very first distinction is between intrinsic and extrinsic ones. Intrinsic aspirations help us meet specific psychological needs while extrinsic ones are about achieving instrumental goals. Social, familial, and ability aspirations are all intrinsic. This category includes, for example, aspirations to have meaningful friendships and relationships with others, aspirations to get married, to become talented in some area, or those related to personal growth.

On the other hand, aspirations of a financial nature are extrinsic , for example the desire to achieve certain economic objectives, and those of popularity, which drive us to desire fame and success . There are also aspirations halfway between one and the other, such as professional ones. It all depends on the reasons that drive us to pursue a certain career: if we are mainly motivated by the desire for fame and wealth, then the extrinsic elements will prevail. Conversely, when our goals are related to inner awareness or a desire to contribute to and improve the world we live in.

Aspirations Are Hopes And Long-Term Goals

Aspirations are usually described as long-term desires and goals that help us make life choices and give us purpose. Dreams, hopes, visions for the future that motivate us to improve, inducing us to adopt behaviors aligned with the aspirations themselves.

Do they always happen? The answer is no and there are many reasons. It happens because they can change over time or because we don’t concretely commit to achieving the set goals. In this case the aspirations remain just daydreams. Nonetheless, they are still precious.

Aspirations Are Similar But Not Identical To Ambitions

Short-term and long-term goals are not the same thing and aspirations only fall into the latter category. In fact, even completing an assigned job, finishing reading a book, playing sports twice a week, are objectives , but they have little to do with real aspirations. That to be considered as such, they must look to the future, projecting themselves into a long term and not immediately, and have a wider meaning.

What about ambition, a term often used as a synonym for aspiration? It certainly looks like her but it is important to underline that not all ambitions are automatically aspirations. Also because the latter do not necessarily imply an action, but it happens that they remain pure fantasies if the people who aspire to them do not commit themselves to making them concrete.

Aspirations Are Important As They’re Motivating Us

Aspirations are important because they give us purpose, help us improve, motivate us to achieve the goals we have in mind. They are a source of enthusiasm, optimism and positivity, not only at the end of the journey, when we finally fulfill our wishes, but also during the journey we undertake to reach the set goal. Definitely complex and full of challenges but also very rewarding.

Sure, sometimes aspirations can lead to disappointment, but should we stop dreaming, hoping, and setting long-term goals lest we fail? Obviously not. And even if aspirations hide, like everything else, rather insidious dark sides, which we can learn to recognize with experience, it is still worth aspiring for something!