I've been reading a lot about goals lately - life goals, business goals, all of that. People suggest writing your goals down; I don't really think that's necessary, but if it helps you understand where you are trying to get to, that's fine. Do what works for you.
I know what my goals are. I don't mean the little things like getting the house ready for guests or working on that website reorganization. No, I mean the big stuff: the happiness stuff, the self-satisfaction, fulfillment stuff. The Big Goals. I know what mine are. I know who I want to be as well as what I want to be.
While in the shower this morning I starting thinking "Am I there yet? Have I reached my Big Goals?"
The answer was "Yes". Not that I'm ever 100% satisfied with everything - there is always constant tweaking and adjusting - but overall, as I glance around the landscape of my life and business, yeah, I've reached my goals. I'm "there". Life is good, I'm PMR (Pretty Much Retired), I love my wife of forty-plus years.. it all fits and feels good.
And then as I let the warm water run (feeling both guilty for wasting water and yet luxuriating in the sheer physical joy of it), I had another question: when did I get here?
That's a little bit harder. Was I "here" fifteen years ago? No, definitely not. Ten years ago? Not quite, but getting closer. Five? I'm not sure.. maybe.
The Big Goals, the really important ones, are hard to measure. It's not like saying "I want $400,000 in my investment accounts". You know when you get there (and you know when half of it disappears overnight!). But happiness, relationships, satisfaction? Much harder. They kind of sneak up on you and worse, they can sneak away just as easily.
If you aren't yet where you want to be, don't despair. Just keep heading toward the goal and someday you'll be in the shower and realize "Hey! I'm here. I made it!"
But remember this: If you do get there, it's not going to last. Well, it might, but you can't count on that. Illness, financial stress, death of loved ones: all out there ready to drown us in misery. That's why I focused on my goals very early on and moved toward them with inexorable intent.
Don't trade misery now for future happiness. Live today. Plan for tomorrow, but live today.
I don't mean that you shouldn't invest for the future, ignore long range planning or anything like that. In fact, it's ALL long range planning. I just hate to see people miss their lives because they are looking forward to Someday.
Good luck to you. Now shut the water off!
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