I have been doing a lot of thinking lately, probably as a result of articles that seem to pop up in my suggested reads on various web pages. Said articles have suggested that we are a work driven, possession driven, goal driven society. As a person who has always been goal driven, these articles started me thinking.
Somewhere along the way, probably as far back as when I was a kid, I started becoming that goal driven person, who had to do everything correctly, to the best of my ability, and hopefully be successful. Success was measured in many ways, including making money and winning prizes. There wasn't, and haven't been a lot of things in life that I have done "just for the fun of it." There was always a purpose, an end goal.
I think about some of the hobbies I have had that I basically burned out on because I turned them into mini businesses, in the hopes of making money. (Granted, there were times in my life when I really did need to make some extra money, and they were a skill set I had.) I also think of some of the things I have tried, and haven't pursued because I wasn't good at them.
We have the misguided idea that we have to be good at everything we do.
Being told we are doing something the wrong way seems to be quite popular. I am sure you have seen the video with the headline that screams, "You Have Been Peeling Your Bananas All Wrong!" Apparently, grasping the top of the banana and pulling down to peel it is incorrect. One should start from the bottom and peel it. I even had a colleague at work point out during lunch one day that I was peeling my banana wrong. It was then that I had the first of many epiphanies.
Did the peel come off the banana? Was I able to eat the banana? The answer was yes in both cases. Then it dawned on me...was the way I peeled my banana wrong, or was it just another way to accomplish a task? I decided it was the latter.
Then I got to thinking about other areas of my life. Do I have to be the best at everything I do? Do I have to do it the "right way?" Or is it okay just to do something because I enjoy it? I have decided that again, the latter should be my guide. The driving force should be enjoyment, and that is going to be my focus this year. Notice I didn't use the "g" word. I may eliminate that one from my vocabulary, or relegate it to an area in my brain where the other four-letter words reside, and are rarely allowed out to play.
This is the first year in almost a lifetime that I haven't sat down in January and mapped out my goals for the year. I didn't make a Vision board to hang where I would see it everyday. I haven't even written down a motivational quote to guide me for the year. My word for the year is "Surprise." My quote goes along with that - "Expect the unexpected."
Do I regret being a life-long goal setter? Absolutely not. It always got me where I wanted, and more importantly where I needed to go. I have mostly done what I set out to do each year because I had a plan and worked that plan. I highly encourage young people to set goals. I still recommend it if you want or need a road map to guide you in your journey.
I will still have plans, but they won't necessarily meet the SMART goal criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.) If those plans happen, great! But I am not going to be under pressure to accomplish something by a certain time. To use another cliche, what will be, will be.
We will see how it goes!
#goals #unexpected #visionboard #SMART #surprise
Jennie Lawrence is the author of Soap Suds Row - The Bold Lives of Army Laundresses 1802 -1876. She also writes a regular column for African Violet Magazine, and has done freelance work. She has started to dabble in children's literature as well.