Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Day planners became a big thing about 20 years ago. at that point in my life I was working for a large, soon-to-be national retailer, and they sent us through a management seminar based on organizing your life with a Personal Resource System. PRS. we were given these beautiful leather planners, replete with dividers and sections and page after page that we were to fill out and use to keep track of every aspect of our lives.
I write this with tongue in cheek, and probably sound derisive, but that seminar provided one of those pivotal life moments for me.
goal setting was the hot thing in management those days, and we were asked to set goals for each of 7 aspects of our lives: work, financial, physical, emotional, family, social, and spiritual. I found that I could do this relatively easily for 6 of the categories.
but the remaining category challenged me. I struggled to harmonize where I was currently with what my true goal was: they did not seem to mesh. and of all things, that category was work.
this led to enlightenment. I obviously needed to rethink my career, and possibly move toward a path that was a better fit for who I was.

I believe in setting goals, and striving to reach them.
but I don't always write them down, and I find that I can even be relatively wimpy about them. it's as though I fear committing to them because . . . why?
this is the truth, as far as I can figure out: I am afraid that I won't reach them, and then I'll be devastated.
and never try again.

geez, I don't seem to have much faith in myself, do I?
I do know better. I won't give up, just because I don't reach a goal. but I am more encouraged by the times I hope for a good outcome and receive one, than by shooting a little too high and missing. the trick, I suppose, is in learning how to set goals that are perfectly aligned with the slightest stretch in your abilities.

sometimes what I truly desire--my loftiest goals--seems too much. too big. too impossible. too far from where I am. is it humility that keeps me from shouting them from rooftops and letting the world know what I want?
or is it fear of appearing greedy and/or ridiculous for wanting too much?
or, perhaps, I've realized that the goals most essential to my life aren't easily quantified and will not confine themselves to dates and measurements and timelines. these goals include such achievements as to be at peace, to live a life that is filled with harmony, to exude compassion and acceptance, and to help my children grow roots and wings.
everything else is just a decoration.
not that I don't like decorations: I do.
finishing a bike race, moving to a new home, buying a new car, making a certain income, producing a specific number of widgits ~ these are all decorations, all things that are worth setting goals for and about. riding a certain number of miles each week, practicing a little yoga each day, remembering to always have my reusable grocery bags in the car . . .

so for some things I set goals, and let other things flow and happen when they are meant to.
it doesn't mean I'm not working toward what I want; it just means that I acknowledge that I'm not always in control of where my life is supposed to flow.

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