To Have Goals or Not, That Is the Question

It’s easy to meander through life. Life will take you along for the ride. You don’t have to have a plan or goals — your own, that is. Society will provide you with all the goals you require. And before you know it, the journey will come to an end. And you’ll have lived your life — the one life has dictated for you.

That may be good enough. It might even be great. Who’s to say? Only you, I suppose. And me.

I’m sitting here this morning wondering not only about my country’s goals but also about my personal goals. For what time I have remaining.

Right now I feel my country is pursuing the wrong goals. But, hey, that’s just my opinion. Obviously, many people have different ideas about what’s important and what we should be pursuing. I hope they’re right, but I have some serious reservations. I fear we’re in the process of making a bad situation worse. I hope I’m wrong.

In the meantime, I have my own matters to address. What are my goals? What do I want to get out of life?

I’ve already achieved many of my earlier goals. But there are some that have proved illusive. And I haven’t done a very good job of coming up with new goals.

Until recently, I didn’t think that mattered. At least not much. But I’m beginning to realize it does. At least for me. I’m not saying that it does or should matter for anyone else. Perhaps they don’t need goals. But I do.

Without goals, I meander. Drift. Wander.

One thing I learned over my career is that, to be effective, goals must be clear. And they’re more powerful if they’re measurable. Vagueness undermines success when it comes to goals. It’s too easy to rationalize and play games when ambiguity prevails.

That’s not to say that measurability has to involve numbers or counting (although it helps). It is to say that measurability can remove much of the guesswork. And provide much needed clarity. And motivation.

I figure, at best, I have a third of my life to live. But probably less. Because so many of the life goals provided to us by society involve career and acquisition, we’re not given much guidance for goals in the latter stages of our lives, when careers and acquisition aren’t as important. More of the goal-setting burden rests on our shoulders.

Which is fine. I suppose. Even though I’m finding that I’m not very good at it.

So I have to get better. What do I want to get out of the remainder of my life? What do you want to get out of yours?

It doesn’t sound like a complicated question. But it’s not an easy one either.

That’s life. At times it can be frustrating. Yet it’s also an opportunity.

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