Karla’s Korner: Setting Goals for a Fruitful Life
Setting Goals for a Fruitful Life
American author and novelist Richelle Goodrich wrote “Goals are my north star. My compass. The map that guides me along the road I wish to travel. Goals are motivations with wind in their sails – they carry me forward despite the storms.” Every once in a while I come across something that sticks in my head days after I read it; this was one of those things. Searching my mind for inspiration I take a break staring out the window into the back yard. I spot a blue jay in search of building materials for its summer home. Way up high in the tree I spy another blue jay, possibly the mate waiting for said building materials to be delivered. From my vantage point it is apparent that these two beautiful creatures are busily working to get the job done. They have a goal and that is to complete the nest; and more than likely start a family.
Anthony Burgess was 40 years old when he received news that he had a brain tumor; his doctors gave him a year to live. He had no money, there was nothing for him to leave his wife Lynne who within the year would be a widow. The situation seemed hopeless. Having dabbled in writing for years Anthony felt that he had something worth writing about; a story to tell. He decided that if for nothing other than the royalties that would go to his wife he would begin writing having no guarantee that anything he wrote would ever be published. His goal was to write a novel. “It was January of 1960,” he said, “and according to the prognosis, I had a winter and spring and summer to live through, and would die with the fall of the leaf.” And so, he pulled out the typewriter and began writing. At the end of the year he had written five and a half novels.
Surprisingly, Burgess did not die. His cancer went into remission and eventually disappeared altogether. Ironically, if Burgess had not been given the death sentence from cancer he may not have ever written a single page. He was forced by his circumstances to set goals and work toward achieving them. At the end of a long and full life of 76 years, he had written over 70 books. While I am sure that Burgess’ original goal was not to write 70 novels, it is apparent that he started with a smaller more manageable goal. More than likely upon finishing his first novel, he tweaked goals a bit and moved onto his second novel.
Goals, I believe are works in progress. When I set out on my health and wellness journey I set a weight loss goal of 80 pounds. Looking at the big number 80 seemed so great and at times impossible to achieve, so I began to break the big goal down into smaller ones. Now, six months into the journey, I find that I have met those smaller goals and am a mere five pounds away from the big goal. Now, I have decided that it is time for a new goal; I will set a new number to reach for. The journey will continue.
Many of us are like Anthony Burgess, hide our greatness inside, only revealing it when some external emergency forces us to bring it out. And while Burgess beat the odds and achieved his goals and much more, I wonder if he would have ever taken the chance and set those goals in the first place if he had not gotten cancer. Wouldn’t it be better, more productive if we took the time to evaluate our lives on a regular basis and set goals that will help us live a fruitful life? Looking deep within our souls to discover who we are, what we want, what we need and then setting goals to fulfill those wants and needs are essential to living a quality well-rounded life. We’ve got one chance at life that’s it. Waiting for life to come to you is a waste of time and opportunity; goals need to be set and met.
American comedian and actor, Jonathan Winters once said “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” I encourage you to live your life to its fullest. Set your goals, learn to swim in the pool of life so that when your ship stays anchored off shore you can jump in and meet it embracing all of the wonderful things life has waiting for you.
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
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