From a transcript of a talk that Lama Zopa Rinpoche once gave, he explains the importance of having an aim to a spiritual practice. An excerpt from the article:
If our aim in practicing meditation and following the spiritual path is not clear, because our life is so busy and there are many distractions, we may only want some calmness in our life and short-term peace and quietness in our mind. The only motivation for practicing meditation may be just to have some quietness in the mind—like a little rest for the mind. We may want to give our mind a little rest, just as we relax our body and rest, without working—we just lie down and relax at our house or we go to the beach.
If the purpose of our meditation is just to feel this calmness and peace for a short time, then breathing meditation is enough. Just watching the sensation in the body, and trying to focus the mind on any object, such as watching our breathing or meditating on our shoes or something. [Laughter] Just keeping the mind on any object for a short time brings some peace, because we try to stop all our other thoughts during those minutes. It’s similar to having a good sleep. When we have a deep sleep, we don’t have those disturbing thoughts arising, so we have some peace and quietness of mind.
Generally, if our aim in life is not clear and we are not sure, then our path is not clear. We don’t know how to make decisions in our life and we don’t know what is best. We become very confused and it is difficult to tell if the decisions that we make are right or wrong. If the aim and purpose of our life is not clear, then any normal life decisions become very confused and it is difficult to discriminate what is right and wrong, even without talking about meditation and the spiritual path.