I have had some serious thoughts lately about goals. Goals are very hard for me. I actually set very few goals because, why bother? I can set as many goals that I want, but if they involve other people, I won’t reach them. If I set a personal goal, it always gets to the place where I question my motives. I can do A and B and C! *pats self on back* And then the “realization” pops in: what stupid things to be good at! I can do 39 push-ups, 90 crunches and am stronger than I look. Who cares? I can play every instrument in the orchestra, the drum kit, the piano and I also can sing. I sightread really well and can transpose on the spot. So what? I can analyze contracts, do market trending research, work out budgets and investment recommendations and not break a sweat. Who would want advice from you? I can teach anything. Who would want to learn anything from you? Sigh.
So I was watching a video on why people don’t reach goals, and one of the points the speaker made was not if I was good enough, smart enough, industrious enough, ambitious enough or resourceful enough to reach the goal. The point was if the goal was worthy of me. That was completely backwards! A friend of mine posted a new message on her blog that said, “In a society that PROFITS from your self doubt, Liking yourself is a rebellious act!” Before mass communication (before blogging, internet, twitter, Facebook, telephone, tv, radio) if you were trying to measure up to others’ standards you were wasting your time. Standards were standards. Are you a person of integrity? Do you have a good work ethic? Are your values displayed in your life? These are not the standards we see now. Are you a person of relative integrity? Can you get paid without working? Values change too much to adhere to for any length of time, do you offend anyone? Are your shoes up to date? Do you look like a model? Do you have the right phone/computer/tablet/house/car/entertainment center? Does anyone know how much debt you’re carrying? Do you sweat–you’re not supposed to… Is your hair the right color, style, or length? Is it too straight or too curly? Does your house smell like flowers? Do you cook like a gourmet? Can you perform surgery on any surface in your house? And here’s the latest picture of you and a celebrity at an exotic location. And here’s your latest thoughts on everything you’re experiencing right now in 140 characters or less. We over-communicate. What does the deodorant you use have to do with your work ethic? Why does everyone have to know the most intimate details of our lives? They don’t. We are made to feel inferior, chastised for not measuring up. Our society does not tolerate diversity.
You heard me correctly. It is ok for someone to be perceived as a person that is different in culture, religion, physical characteristics, but if they do not ACT exactly the same, there’s something wrong with them. Consider an elementary classroom. How diverse are these children? Some sit in their chairs and listen dutifully to the teachers. Some daydream. Some play pranks. Some misbehave. Only 5% of the students will be attentive and sit quietly drinking in everything the teacher says and does. Yet we require that 100% of them do exactly that. It doesn’t matter what culture they come from, or their physical differences, or their home life, or their mental age, or their learning style. If they don’t conform, we drug them or put them into special programs. It is the same in body image. “We love you just the way you are! Now go to the store and shop in the corner of the store where we have the awnings, um tents, um clothes that might hide your imperfections because all women should wear a size 2.” We don’t endeavor to reach our ideal weight because it feels good, helps us live longer, gives us more energy, and allows us to enjoy life. We do this because we don’t conform to what our society says we should look like.
We set goals because we’re expected to. We focus on accomplishing the goal and getting onto the next one. The point of the goal is NOT to GET to the goal. It is the person you must become in order to reach it! If your goal does nothing for you, it’s a task. You need to evaluate how much you are worth. Given your education, experience, knowledge, insight, and skills, what is your time worth? Is your goal worth the period of time in your life you have to give up to reach it? You are trading your precious time and resources for this goal. Is it worth the sacrifice? What will accomplishing this goal do for you? for your community? for your family? Will this goal add value to you? You cannot pass on value to someone if you don’t have it yourself. What kind of person do you have to grow into in order to reach this goal? If the goal is worth your time and resources, if it is worth the sacrifice, if it grows you and adds value to you, you most likely will accomplish it.