Goal-setting and the zen of being in the now

Jeb Corliss recently posted on his Facebook page:

“Try not to think short term. Try to think where you want to be in 5 years and make plans on how to really get there. What kind of training do you need to do? What steps need to be taken? What do you need to sacrifice? If you focus you will get there so be very careful where you decide you want to be. The old saying be careful what you wish for because you might just get it is very very true…”

If you were to have asked my mother while she was alive what one of the most trying aspects of having me as a daughter was, I suspect she’d say it was that I wasted my “talents”. I’m a dabbler at heart. A Jill-of-all-trades with no real urge to be a master of any. And if I’m good at something, if I have a talent for it, then I reach the point of being done with it more quickly than if I were pursuing a skill or task in which I had little native talent. Art, writing, music, math, languages…whatever. I try it, show promise, and then move onto something else. Very ADD.

There was a time in my life that this aspect of my personality was upsetting to me as well. Why was I wasting so much of my life, frittering away precious time that I could have been spending accomplishing goals. Yada, yada, yada. Over the last several years, though, I’ve come to be very comfortable with this. (Possibly more comfortable than is healthy, but that’s a thought for another post.)

The world is full of affirmation-laden, goal-oriented, browbeating self-help gurus and life coaches who make it clear that you are not living up to your potential if you’re just going with the flow. You need to strive to be a better you. The you that you are at this moment just isn’t cutting the mustard.

Life doesn’t need to be goal-oriented. Sometimes it’s just about the experience.

That is the true essence of the concept of living in the moment.



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