Monday, February 4, 2008

The Question

If you knew (for sure!) that you were going to accomplish something really important to you in the next couple of years, what would it be? That's not The Question, though. If you are already working on a goal, that would just be the nice reassuring message you needed to tell you that you were actually going to make it.

The Question -- the one I'm struggling with -- is this: If you knew you were going to accomplish something really important in the next couple of years, and you didn't have a goal already in process or even in mind, then what would your goal be?

I'm struggling with this because of something I read at Susan Miller's astrology website. Now, before my sceptic readers get all worked up about how astrology is hooey, let me say this: I don't care. I figure it this way: if I set a goal today and work hard to accomplish it for the next two years all because an astrology website told me I would accomplish it, who cares? This isn't like reading "you will win the lottery" and then quitting your job on the "strength" of that prediction. It's good to have a goal, and we should all be working on them as though we're going to accomplish them.

I just don't know what my goal is.

Which is not to say I live an aimless life. I work really hard on short-term and long-term projects, some of great significance to me. I've been working for thirty years (more or less) to figure out what happened to me during my childhood, large chunks of which are missing. Maybe that's what I'm going finally to accomplish, which would be great. Uncomfortable to be sure (in the "you will experience some discomfort" sense so beloved by medical professionals), but liberating and glorious all the same. It's just not what I think of as a goal, though.

The website suggested a work-related goal. I don't have professional goals anymore. This worries me. There used to be things I wanted to do, like write a book. Those desires have cooled, though, and I'm not sure I can fire them back up. So what takes their place? It's not right for someone my age (I turn 52 in a couple weeks) not to know the answer to The Question.

One reason this is so hard is that I struggle with accomplishments generally. I've blogged about this already: I shy away from tasks that are hard, and discount my abilities with completing tasks that come easy. Not precisely a recipe for goal-oriented activities.

I will say this, though: I picked the right man to marry. I asked Starman The Question last night, and he didn't have an answer either.

How about you? I want to know what goals you have for the next two years. If that's too personal to ask on a blog, answer this one: If a website told you that you were going to accomplish your most important goal in the next couple of years, would you know what goal that was?


  1. Probably not surprising, but I'm not a big one for goal setting, and yet I have accomplished much and I certainly have hopes for a robust future filled with interesting projects, life experiences, and achievements.

    I often find that goals take shape from some "of the moment" theme. I've gone from thinking of something off & on, only to find myself really in the thick of some great change in my life. Once it's underway, though, it doesn't feel like a goal so much as just plain work to be done, always mixed in with the business of day to day living.

    So to answer your question, I don't think a web entry could direct me to identify a goal with a general 2 year time frame. I suppose if it did, it would have to be something pretty specific, like fitness, or finishing a household project, or reaching some targeted financial number.

    I also work pretty hard to keep an emotional balance in my life, to stay in the moment as much as possible, to raise a healthy family, and to stay healthy myself. I'd call that more of a guiding principle than a goal.

    To boil it down: ideas, creativity, work: good; goals: a necessary evil, to be chosen wisely; balance: highly desirable

    PS: Re: Twitter, and other teeny tiny print websites. Did you know about CTRL + your mouse's scroller? It can make any website bigger or smaller, quick & easy.

  2. I couldn't actually get the trick with CTRL + mouse to work. I tried it on a blog with teeny-tiny print, but no luck. Can you give step-by-step directions for the computer-clueless among us? Thanks!

  3. If you have a scrolling wheel thingie between your left & right mouse buttons, you can hold down the CTRL key and then scroll down to make the type larger, or scroll up to make it smaller. The keyboard shortcut, if you don't have a scroll wheel, is: CTRL + or CTRL -

  4. Yup. Tried that. I wonder if some sites don't work that way. I'll try CTRL + and see if that works. Thanks for the help!

  5. Almost every site does, including this one, Twitter, etc. What browser are you using?

  6. Well, StitchStash pretty much wrote what I was going to write. My physical goals come about through life experience, but my spiritual goals (for lack of a better word) are pretty much ongoing. To be happy, kind, at peace with life...

    Don't have any real ambition to change the world (except for my small little portion of it)...just live the most authentic life I can and be happy.

    And of course spread that happiness wherever I go! ::grin::