Have a Goal – Fixate on the Future

This post was first posted on my other blog, Fix Your Mirror, and I thought I’d add it here.

I starting writing when I was 19 years old – poetry, essays, short stories, whatever the mood dictated. The timing makes me wonder if my own daughter will shortly find her first life’s passion. I never learned to write in school. Yes, they taught it, but I didn’t want to learn. I wanted to write like me, not like someone else.

Instead, I waited in vain for my voice. Waiting is not at all the same as goal-setting, as it turns out.

I had a similar experience with photography. I had been obsessed with photography since I was 12 years old. I have seen thousands of books on photography – certainly every one in every local library I’ve ever been near. I looked at picture after picture – but could never bring myself to read the “how” or study the “why.” Again, I didn’t want to learn the “correct” way to take a photo. I wanted to learn how I take one. This innate stubbornness caused me much consternation over the years. You see, my “voice” was louder than my words. My “sight” was far brighter than my photos.

Not surprisingly, I rarely matched on paper what was in my head. Finally, around the time unhappiness at home and boredom at work had squeezed the last of my hope, I stopped. I didn’t write or take a photograph for around 10 years. The voices ceased, the images, thankfully faded. I had grown up I felt.

In truth, I had merely quit. I had dreams with no goals, goals with no work. Failure was the inevitable result.

We “grown-ups” bury our dreams in the backyard in a box with the Easter Bunny, and shed a tear as Santa burps out a eulogy in a faded, dirty red suit. No dreams for us, we say. No imagination dare we have. We go to work, we make our cash, we cover the stink of “ordinariness” in fancy colognes and wear pretty baubles to distract others from the emptiness in our eyes.

But dreams were not meant to die.

This year, this minute, I declare my dreams possible. I reach to the heavens, clutch at my Father’s cloak, and do his bidding for me. Dreams are what life is for. Dreams are love, and love is God, and God is Good. All day long.

Today I declare my power over mediocrity. I sing a eulogy for mediocrity, for halfway trips, for seats by the shore. Today is the day we start across. Today is the day we love, and hope, and believe… and then do.

My loves… if you can name it, you can claim it. Believe, have faith, give praise, do the work. Life is good, then you die. Make yours worth living.

When first I wrote this piece, I listed 5 outlandish goals: marry my best friend, write a book… others more far-fetched. Well, I met my best friend, because I looked. Then, I married her. In addition, am now working on my fifth and sixth books.

The first goal didn’t work out the way I had hoped, but I accomplished it. And, not coincidentally, it was she who helped me accomplish my second goal. I had picked a best friend who had similar goals I did. My remaining goals depend solely on my work, and translating my goals to specific, measurable, relevant action steps. Then, I work through each action. Try it. Before you know it, you’ve met, or even upped your goal.

Goals can be accomplished, through faith in yourself, knowledge of your strengths and non-strengths, and work.

My last goal was, “Die having made a difference, having mattered, having reached the other shore.”

I’m holding off on completing that one, for now. But I will reach the other shore, I promise you that. It’s just a small matter of learning to swim across.

Love keep you strong,
Bill

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for this post Bill. I am working on trying to find my voice on my blog and on other writing endeavors so it was sure a nice bit of inspiration! cheers mate, all the best.

    1. My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. amysomday says:

    Bill,
    You have achieved part of your last goal. You have made a difference. To me.
    At almost 50 years old I am for the first time following dreams. My heart has always felt this incredible depth of wonder…wonder of nature, wonder of writing, wonder of capturing the beauty of God’s earth…but now for the first time, I am following my dreams.
    Though my trips to wonderment may be short they are always amazing…digging into myself.
    I, too, am stubborn yet have not been afforded the chance to grow up yet, having only been a single adult 4 years now. As i read your words I think…maybe its not all its cracked up to be.

    Thank you for your honesty. In a world of band aids and hand holding, the honesty is refreshing…amy

    1. Amy, thank you so much for that. And, for the record, I started writing my 1st book at age 51. Now I’m 53, and I’ve finished 4. It’s not when you start, it’s how you start. I’m certain you will achieve your goals. We show always grow, but never finish growing.

  3. ceciliag says:

    Bill honey, i loved reading this, i believe it so completely. And you have written it for me so succinctly. I have been struggling all day as i drove to the old folks home and back wondering how to answer a comment on my blog. A woman said that she was surprised that i was milking my cow with a machine. I did not answer because i had not thought i would be challenged on my methods, so I did not have to words to answer her straight away. But you have helped. You have helped me see that my goal is not to sit on a three legged stool and hand milk for two hours a day.

    My goal is to be a writer, a good one, maybe not to publish but i want to write a book i would love to read. I know which book, I mean I know the one i am writing but to write I need time. I need those two extra hours. And my wee farm is as much of my self and my writing as my paper. So i want both. But I do not have time to hand milk a COW! AND farm and Write! But I want the milk.

    Now of course i have to work out how to say that kindly in abut 4 words! Because this woman did not know that. Maybe neither did I.

    Thank you and have a good one

    c

    1. Celi, I never know which makes my day more – your blog or your comments. There is no doubt that you can write a book that you and many others will love. You are a wonderful storyteller, with a sweet view of life that shines through your writing.

      I don’t know why it’s somehow nobler to live in the 20th century than this one. Machines were invented so people could spend time doing what’s important. Part of having a sustainable farm is being able to sustain the effort it takes to run it. You sitting under a cow for hours is a waste of a lot of energy and talent.

      1. ceciliag says:

        Plus it is kind of smelly sitting under that cow!! (loud laughter!!) .. thank you Bill .. celi

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