Goals are great, but I think they can be problematic.
I went to school. I did relatively well. I worked my tail off to be the best at as much as I could.
I got good grades, nearly straight A’s all the way through. I played piano and the flute, was in band and orchestra, landed the lead role in drama and played several sports. I was voted MVP of stuff and even set a few (insignificant) records.
I graduated near the top of my class (never mind that there were only 19 of us so, you know, the chances were pretty good). Like all “good” students, I went to college and got a degree.
I did all the “right” stuff. I met the goals set before me over and over again. And you know what?
I felt completely lost.
Because they weren’t really my goals, they were someone else’s.
When I finished college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I worked a series of jobs I hated. The phrase I heard others say from time to time—I love my job!—totally baffled me.
I seriously hated everything about what I was doing. I was simply waiting for the day when I could get married and rely on my husband to bring home the bacon. Of course I didn’t really know what I would do after that either.
I had done everything I was “supposed” to do and yet it seemed I had come up empty-handed.
Fast forward to age 28 when I discovered the internet and found vast amounts of information on just about any subject I could imagine. It changed my life.
I stumbled on topics I had absolutely no idea I was interested in…and I got interested. I spent countless hours learning new things. I felt like I had come alive.
I also felt sad that I wasted so much of life pursuing what I thought would make me happy. After all, they told me it would.
Being “the best” doesn’t bring you happiness or success.
Almost 30 years of my life passed before I learned something not because I had a test next Tuesday but because I couldn’t help myself from learning it. Because I actually enjoyed it. Because I enjoyed it and not the accolades that came from others impressed by my ability to look like I enjoyed it. Because it was something that interested me and was completely in line with my wiring and temperament and personality and uniqueness and intellect and creativity.
Because it made my heart sing.
It took me a while to figure it out, and then I had a hint it had something to do with blogging and so I started blogging. That was early 2004.
I’ve learned a lot over the years, about blogging, about life. One of the main things I’ve learned is that you can’t rush it. You can’t rush blogging and you can’t rush life.
We’re always looking for the destination, aren’t we? The end result. The goal. The finish line.
I want my kids to be grown so I can breath a sigh of relief that they didn’t turn out too bad (or more accurately, so I can be deemed a “good” parent). I want my marriage to look like this or that or so-and-so’s marriage. I want to have X number of subscribers, X number of pageviews or make X amount of income.
I want to be more of this or less of that.
Sure there’s nothing wrong with having goals, but this is a journey. More and more, I think the process is the destination. And the process is a lot more enjoyable if your heart is singing along the way.
I’m surrounded with blessings. What am I reaching over now in order to reach for something else later?
And is it what I want to reach for or what someone else wants to reach for?