Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stepping Back From Goals

If you read about how to be successful, you will see GOALS GOALS GOALS. While this is especially true in books about winning at Soccer, it is quite prevalent in all self-help books. The problem is goals is that you have to know what you want.

If you have kids and want to make sure they go to the right schools and then you want to be able to retire in comfort, then your goals are pretty clear. If you own a store and want to expand to a chain, the goal is readily apparent.

However, what happens when you are at a transition point in life. The vicissitudes of life brought me to Connecticut following a job which I would subsequently quit a few months later because it was even worse here than it was where I came from. For most of my life, I had some kind of overriding goal. First, I was in school, and a goal was prescribed for me, finish school successfully. There were subordinate goals, but it always came back to that one. When I graduated college, I opened Phoenix Games, and everything was driving towards making Phoenix successful, and, later, making Phoenix survive.

In 2007, when it was apparent Phoenix Games would not pay the bills, I started working for my father teaching people with special needs to drive. It was a good job which helped people, but it was not satisfying because I went from what felt like a holy quest to a job that kind of did some good for some people.

In 2010, I started working for American Income Life. I had a new fiancee and we had a bold and ambitious dream. I would achieve the success that AIL promised was possible and we would find greatness. I could focus all of my energy towards AIL and that dream. Unfortunately, that dream, for various reasons did not pan out, and in January of 2012, I left that job and entered the car business selling Audis and later Volkswagens as I still do.

I had not driving ambition, but, for the first time, I was financially stable. I could start paying down, rather than racking up, debts. My credit score is floating up to a respectable level. Most of my immediate debts incurred running Phoenix Games are paid off.

In this situation, I was able to relax, not worrying about what was to come next. I just did what I wanted to, enjoyed things as they came. Recently, things changed again, and for various reasons, many of the things that I was distracting myself with became unavailable, and it came into stark focus that I do not have a direction in which I wish to head.

This bothered me greatly for a time. I sometimes have the feeling that the clock is ticking and I need to get moving before time runs out. I would try to make a long term goal, then shift to another, then another, only to realize that I really didn’t know what the right long term plan was.

I realized, that, while the clock moves, there is plenty of time left on it. It’s ok not to know what the big plan it. As they say, go as far as you can see, and then look further. Sometimes as far as you can see is up to the next bend in the road, and that’s ok. So, today, I will sell cars, maybe try to arrange a nice role playing game group, enjoy board game night, and, for now, let things fall where they will.

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