Monday, June 20, 2011

You are Here!

We are often directed to set goals, track our progress, and make mid-course adjustments where appropriate. But I'm finding out, the goals I've set, though higher than my past or current place, sometimes they seem like they're out of reach or invisible. But then, I'm reminded of the quote from Henry David Thoreau:
  I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings…If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

Good. Great! Now the notion is thoroughly planted in our head, what about this very minute? When one's dreams and goals reside in a higher place, the path can, at times, become obscure. Please understand, I don't have this confusion, anxiety, panic and apathy demon chained and subdued, yet. All too often, my thoughts are primarily focused on "THE FUTURE" or the "task list" generated by others.

You ever find yourself forgetting what or why you went in a room? You enter the room, mindful of a million things beside the reason you got out of the chair? Well, this has been a constant problem since I was a small child. Mom would send me in a room to get, for example, a spool of black thread. In the seconds between her telling me and walking into the room, the 'mission' would be gone. I would have to go back and ask "what was I supposed to get?" Of course she called me an old man and strangely, I've simply grown into the character.

So it's important to take a few minutes, hours, days, even, to stop and determine "where am I at this moment?" I mean, honestly, while we want to know where we are, relative to our goal, we also want to examine - and rather critically - is this the path and goal for me, are there alternatives, what lead me to the very place I'm at, at this moment? We also want to examine the multiple paths this very place could lead us, and will those 'roads' ultimately lead to the "castle in the sky."

We've all heard the analogy of the lumberjack's attempt to cut down a tree with a dull axe. Somehow, he's convinced if he continues as he is, and chops harder, the tree will eventually fall. But some wiser comes along, examines his situation and suggests "why not stop and sharpen your axe?" Whether "someone" comes along or not, it never hurts to stop and determine what's going on at that very moment; what nagging thoughts and emotions are you ignoring, in your determination to reach your goal? Examine where you are, now, before you find you've reached "a goal," but not the one you intended.