I am not such a big fan of goals. Goal setting seems to imply that once you have achieved the set goal you will in some way be more…happier, fulfilled, content, liked etc
Generally if we set the goal with this intent, whether conscious or not, we are implying that we are lacking in this moment, in someway.
The path to these goals can also be perfect for any neurosis of not being good enough. We can set the goals too high, where we either don’t start or inevitably fail and then proceed to beat ourselves up, thus fulfilling the prophecy that we are indeed not good enough.
Or we can beat ourselves with a stick until our goal is achieved at the cost of other areas of our lives sacrificed along the way. In saying that we still need to have a sense of direction, one that is not too rigid were we cannot change course but not too loose were we float around with any new breeze that comes our way distracting us from our original intention.
With the AIMS games on at the moment, it got me thinking what was happening when I was that age. When I was in intermediate we had a school sports exchange with Maeroa Intermediate in Hamilton. We would bus down from the big smoke and compete as you do with your country neighbours. Somehow we ended up at the big swimming complex they had/have? in Hamilton and it had this super high diving board. I was 12 and that high diving board looked mighty high and I wasn’t going near it. None of the other boys seemed up for it either, until this tough kid Colin who was in the 1st XV took up the challenge. Everyone there stopped and stared. It seemed to take forever for him to get to the top and 50 odd kids below were strangely silent. He stopped at the top to survey the scene, pausing for a little too long and froze. Kids started yelling to gear him on. After a few painful minutes he descended in a walk of shame.
This was profound. One of the toughest coolest kids in the school crashed and burned in front of everyone! I thought about this for years to come, realising how fear can shape your life and I made a secret pledge if the opportunity arose in the future I had to seize it. 12 years on I found myself somewhere off the Turkish coast on some boat. Sorry can’t remember names…around the coast of Fethiye maybe….. We came across this massive rock arch that some of the locals were jumping off. This was my moment.
I followed the locals up the dodgy crumbling path to the top and looked out over the edge to the boat and “Holy shit.” Every part of my being recoiled from the precipice. It was way higher than it looked. But there was no way in hell I was backing out. Not only was the whole boat watching on but also my personal pledge to myself. Of course I jumped and survived, albeit with a lesson learned to clench your butt cheeks when jumping off heights! :)
Set you aims within reason and share them with your loved ones. The more public the better. Seek advice from those who have gone before you. You may be surprised by the support you get.
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