Oh sure, I’ve read that the most successful people maintain lists of things they want to accomplish over the short-middle-long-term and then spend hours practicing their rituals in pursuit of those objectives and then hit age thirty-five with twenty million in the bank and unhappy marriages and spoiled kids and the miscellaneous mistress and the overly-indulgent cocaine habit that allows them to continue to set new goals and spend their early morning hours with wide-eyed enthusiasm and jittery limbs in pursuit of something that will take away the pain of a lost childhood and an absent adolescence and tortured twenties and no concept of changing anything in the near future, shrinks and Cialis and Viagra and personal trainer notwithstanding.
Maybe this whole “goals-thing” is askew. Maybe defining success by what you’ve done and what you have is just a different way of avoiding who you are. I think a lot of people achieve tremendous success at avoiding who they are. I’m not referring to those narcissistic explorations of body weight and other self-quantifying endeavors. Nor do I seek inquiry into emotional connectedness or personal optimism in the face of adversity or any of that rampant self-empowerment psychology related to positive thinking.
Instead, I’m wondering if you’ve ever posed the genuine questions of yourself? What are my core values – those things I am certain of, and those things upon which I would never compromise? What do I believe, completely, on principle, without doubt? What motivates me to action? Because having that foundation might make setting and achieving goals a wholly different adventure.
And so today I am making a list of goals:
I will beat the crap out of anyone I witness beating a child – I know this for sure.
I will help all people have the freedom to determine their fates, regardless of social status, race, intelligence, or national boundaries.
I will value loyalty and compassion above compensatory materials like Ferraris.
I will respect a person willing to work for something, regardless of the labor’s name etc.
I will avoid setting self-quantifying goals until I can identify that which motivates my actions.
See, this is what happens when I don’t get enough sleep!