I’ve been reading a lot lately, and writing quite a bit too, about goal setting, priority setting, and some BHAGs (big hair audacious goals) – at the same time having some severe navel-gazing time in terms of my life and where I am driving this process (like I am planning a road trip) called my life toward ____.
Where, or what, is that destination?
There is an argument to be made that our lives go, change, and end up the way they do somewhat fatalistically – as though our efforts at management and steering have little or significant impact.
I disagree – holding to the view we can influence events – and I intend to keep on changing mine, some of which are dangerous, clear, and simple … while some are wildly creative, off-the-thought-grid, and considered impossible or ridiculous. Looking back, some of the best things I’ve done were ill-considered or accidental by-products of unexpected events or connections with people I would have never met except for being in that one place at that particular moment.
Some of this has been floating in my mind, some have settled in my belly, and decisions seem near – seem plausible, new adventures in my life seem to be drawing near … but the magic fairy dust hasn’t been sprinkled yet. But soon.
Adding to my mind-meld on this are some lyrics from a Rod McKuen song/poem that found its way to my ears the other day while listening to my iPod on the treadmill:
Clouds are not the cheeks of angels you know? They're only clouds Friendly sometimes But you can never be sure
If I had longer arms I'd push the clouds away Or make them hang above the water somewhere else But I'm just a man Who needs and wants Mostly things he'll never have Looking for that thing that's hardest to find Himself I've been going a long time now Along the way I've learned some things You have to make the good times yourself Take the little times and make them big times And save the times that are alright for the ones that aren't so good
I've never been able To push the clouds away by myself Help me Please
What stood out for me – oddly from a song/poem I’ve heard hundreds of times before, were these words:
But I'm just a man Who needs and wants Mostly things he'll never have Looking for that thing that's hardest to find Himself I've been going a long time now Along the way I've learned some things You have to make the good times yourself Take the little times and make them big times And save the times that are alright for the ones that aren't so good
More and more I’m wondering if my long-postponed efforts to stave off mid-life crisis has me more focused than necessary on these issues. Still, the more I mull, I believe some of these issues are more important than anything else and more important right now than ever before.
Which makes you wonder, of those who’ve actually made a valuable contribution to this planet – if they were ever thinking in terms of what they would leave behind as much as they were consumed by their passion for what they were doing. Maybe they were tossing another log on the fire every time they felt a faltering and pressed on – their drive to achieve their goal, consuming them like a fire that never runs out of fuel.
This is about me. It isn’t about you or anyone else – just me. Self-centered, self-absorbed? Yes, but not in the typical egotistical sense, but more in the “I have no time to waste, so I should stop wasting the time I am wasting.”
The future, for any of us, might be tomorrow.
Or a month, a decade, of many decades.
I seem to be pushing the clouds away – I see tomorrow, I see the day after that, but the rest is a big fuzzy dream of impossible things.