I think maybe the most dangerous thought in modern American society is that big, specific, maybe silly, audacious goals are mostly pointless. Or that when you achieve a goal, you feel basically the same as you did before.

It's an easy mistake to make – life isn't like a marathon, where if you cross the finish line you did something and you know exactly how well you did it, and it is completely over. Real life goals are continuous, so hitting a goal doesn't create a discontinuous change. But the change can be huge!

But the thing that fuels my fear is... what's the alternative? Having no goals? Surely character goals aren't pointless – being a good neighbor, being a good partner, being a good parent, those are all BIG tasks. And I don't think modern cynicism would smirk and sneer at those. But if someone said, they wanted to bowl a 300, and then they actually went bowling every day, that'd be a pretty standout person. The goal is pretty, ya know, it's not a goal I have. But sincere efforts, and particularly accomplishing it, says a lot about someone, and it's all very good.

I think one of the disappointments of modern life is how easily people get dissuaded and discouraged from goals. Most people don't have any goals at all, which is sort of weird, I think. Perhaps their life is perfect. But even at my most content, which was almost unnervingly content, I've had things I want to improve.

And daily grinds do really grind a lot of idealism out of us. That's probably good. We learn more about what achieving the goal looks like and it's not really what we imagined. But it's something! Or not! Bowling a 300 isn't anything, not really. But persisting is important.

In the same way I agree schools should have a class where kids play as much or as little 8-ball as they like, they should also have a year, maybe the year after, where everyone has to bowl a 300. And after that, you can do whatever you like, but you can't graduate until you bowl a 300 so you might as well get cracking.