Time is a river that has no edges or boundaries. How then do we make sense of time during the lengthy passage of life? One of the major ways that we do this is through goal setting. We benchmark our life with a series of desires and, ultimately, achievements. In this way, we concertize the value of our existence and what is its mission. The idea behind the setting of goals, however, is a complex one.
These extend from the belief that I have no goals: They are unnecessary, I just live day-to-day. To the other extreme, if I don’t achieve my goals, I will become dissolute and even contemplate suicide. It is clear that I must spend some time to discover and then develop the “real me,” the person I was called to be, the accomplishments I was intended to make. These, I believe, are a necessary offshoot of being alive. As we have often stated, nonetheless, our society has gone “quite mad” with its images of success — from the bejeweled celebrity to the astronaut-shrouded entrepreneur. “Where do I sit is all of this?” I ask myself. I must find a way that I truly express who I am. I must have a plan. This requires private and morally painful contemplation. But then, I begin. The most difficult of all is the birth. I am afraid, I am filled with fear. This is a normal feeling. The body is going crazy with anxiety. Your heart races and you begin to perspire profusely.
If you can overcome these physical emotions and take your first tentative step, just act — drive towards your goal — an entirely new perspective comes into view. There are no heroes nor cowards, Osho (1) reminds us, there is only action. Once I act, I can begin to tabulate whether this particular goal was what I actually wanted. I may have existed in the world of fantasy and the goal I had set out for myself was totally fallacious when it came to reality. But how would I have ever known without probing my desire?
So, to prepare yourself for a life well-lived, one should reflect. A rudimentary aspect of dealing with time is that time has no structure unless you build your own. Thus, a fundamental aspect of properly dealing with life is to construct goals. Now, these goals can most certainly change. If you discover that your desire – your goal — is, in effect, no good for you, or not what you expected, change it! It is your life, after all. In this way, you can “flesh out” the beautiful mosaic that comprises your life. The bitter old men and women are those who took no risks during their “piece of life.” Do not let this be you. Strive towards your goal, your calling in life, your mission in life. Ralph Waldo Emerson (2) leaves us with a thought: Every man’s task, his “great dream” and impassioned life goal is his life preserver.
A closing thought: We often hear, “I have no goals” or “I don’t know what to do with my life.” I believe that a mission is implicit in everyone’s life. That said, it may be difficult to uncover. What I have always relied on is your so-called sixth sense, your feeling that everything is alright, or not. To uncover this, I have always trusted a “talk with myself,” stimulated by a walk in a park, meditation, or prayer. These are traditional and yet still effective methods of quieting the noise that is so much a part of modern society and listening to the truth that lies within all of us. I am always amazed and disturbed by elderly people who go for a walk in the majestic mountains all the while listening to some noise from the phone — music, a talk, or the same ilk. If any group needs to be silent and listen to the thoughts of God and transcendence, it is this congregation.
To sum up: This week, we spoke about setting goals and how they are important in our life.
To be noted: From Lao Tzu (3) — A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Just for fun: Good Feeling/Price Tag- Elle & The Pocket Belles
Every day look for something magical and beautiful.
Quote: Set off and all will be presented.