On Goals

I have a confession: I am daunted. It’s true. Just a bit.

Not enough to notice my heartbeat rise or my breath catch. But enough to make me chew my lip, fidget in my chair, and procrastinate. Length of procrastination currently: 8 months.

8 months of procrastination without noting the fact of my own procrastination. Time passes and most things do not change. Everything, and yet nothing, changes. I wish and dream for change, with most days spent in the reckless, headlong pursuit of it. “It,” in this case, not just being change, but progress. I progress without the feeling of having progressed. And thus am I trapped in a cycle of nothing, the hamster wheel of progress. Life’s incessant needs bicker over my attention, and each bright morning becomes another day of inconsequence.

I have a theory that the answer to achieving a goal is to forget about progress. To surrender a goal and step out of the hamster wheel. The moment this happens is like real magic in action. Without the drive of stress and need, the air is sweeter, food has more taste, wasted energy returns, ideas flow more freely, and time expands. At once there is potential in every corner, waiting to be discovered. Loosing the achievement mindset provides freedom, and freedom is the fertilizer of growth.

Unfortunately, surrender feels exactly like jumping into a dark, very cold, lake, of unknown depth, which may or may not have strange creatures in it. And even more unfortunately, it is easy to snatch what was surrendered back and hardly even notice. Intentions are never pure; surrender is never complete. The goal of surrendering a goal is ultimately to achieve the goal: I do not dare to think I have deceived my heart on that point.

So, then, my intentions are as follows. To simply live life. To attend to life’s incessant needs rather than viewing them as an annoying distraction. To have grace for myself and others, notice things that are good and beautiful, and be grateful as much as possible.

 

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