The 33-year-old is set to start at full-back in Saturday's EMC Test with Ireland at Murrayfield, winning his 105th cap in the first of two World Cup warm-up internationals before head coach Andy Robinson names his final 30-man squad on August 22.
Should the Edinburgh back be included in the final squad following the August 20 Test with Italy, he will become the first Scot to appear in four global tournaments.
Paterson said: "It's a goal of mine, to reach the World Cup, because it's the next big challenge I've set myself.
"If that's the case (a fourth World Cup), then I'd be delighted.
"But I've always said these are things I'll probably be more proud of when I stop.
"At the moment it's just trying to get there and doing the best you can and performing well."
Hugo Southwell's withdrawal with a knee injury means four potential full-backs remain in the squad, with Rory Lamont, Sean Lamont and Jack Cuthbert, who could make his debut off the bench, also in contention.
Sean Lamont will start on the wing and has also played centre and Paterson has retained the full-back berth.
It will be his fourth successive start in the position after recovering some of the best form of his 12-year international career.
But Paterson, who made his debut in the 1999 World Cup, does not believe the number 15 jersey is his to lose.
"I never feel you own it or it's yours," he added.
"The way the season went last year it was quite nice, the way it finished - it wasn't great to start with, it finished a bit better.
"But that was last season. I always start from a clean slate every season."
The new season opens with tomorrow's match at Murrayfield.
Scotland have kept the intensity of training high through the build up, with the World Cup, which begins next month, the ultimate goal.
The Ireland fixture is the first opportunity for players to prove they are deserving of a place on the plane to New Zealand.
While individuals have goals, Paterson impressed upon his team-mates the importance of a strong collective display.
He added: "If individuals perform well the team performs well. In international rugby if you do your little bit right and everybody else does that, you've got a good team performance.
"Games like tomorrow are hugely important, to see where we are.
"We won't be the finished product, we won't be finely tuned to the extent you would find in the middle of the season, but we'll find out.
"It's a full-blown Test match we're being capped for and there's a responsibility to go out, play hard and win.
"With what's at stake, there's opportunities for guys to play to get in position for selection for the World Cup."
Paterson's personal chances are boosted by his versatility and he has been training at fly-half this week.
Edinburgh half-back Greig Laidlaw has been named on the bench to cover the number nine and 10 positions, but Paterson may also be required to step in at stand-off.
He added: "It's something I've done before and at times I'll do again.
"I've focused on that this week as well as at full-back.
"If that's what asked of me I'll do as best as I can."
Like Paterson, Robinson is eager for Scotland to return to competitive action for the first time since the RBS 6 Nations.
And he is keen to see his charges play at pace and with a ruthless streak, built around a strong passing game.
The head coach said: "There's a feeling of expectancy.
"The boys just want to get out there and go head to head against the Irish.
"We've been working on a number of aspects of our game in attack and defence.
"We improved our passing in the Six Nations and it's in our ability to move teams around that we feel we can open up the space.
"It's about being able to keep hold of the ball, move the Irish team around and take your chances."
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