There are conversations that I have with people who feel that there is a defined goal that we should hold and pursue, The conversation often goes like this:
– Sam, what is your 1, 5 and 10 year goal?
– Hmmm, I have not set those timelines and milestones.
– What! Someone like you does not have goals set?
– Why not? Society and people will always tell us to set those markers and make your way to it.
– Sure, but I never listen to people
OK, so I am not so stubborn or difficult as i am making myself to be. I am also not aimless. What I am is someone who has an idea but does not want to limit them self with established parameters. I have no idea what 1, 5 or 10 years holds for me and the relationships I will encounter and the things I will do that will send me in a trajectory that I might not anticipate. As doors open, I go through and see where it leads. See, I said where it might lead. What this means is that I am aware of what is around me and what is going on. That is an important distinction and how I proceed. The things I do have threads of relatedness and the more doors I go through the clearer my vision is on what I need to do. Just because I might not be able to fully articulate it, does not mean that I am rudderless. For example, four years ago, I was not a writer or blogger and that was not in my plans. Would I have sought those out if I had a plan? I am not sure; however, I see what is around me, grasp at those that make sense and go on a journey.
Society might frown upon people if you don’t set goals but what is important is that society is made up of people who embrace structure. Saying that, society is also made up of people who appreciate an organic journey where they are not set and guided. By setting 1, 5 and 10 year goals, I am telling myself that I am on a path that I can’t veer off or pursue things that don’t link or line up. It is no different than travel. I take a map and compass but I don’t mind discovering a new hidden gem while I appreciate the journey.
So how can you make the most of the journey and not limit yourself by established goals if you are organic in your journey like me?
– Be sure you know yourself and have confidence in yourself. You have to be the best guide for your life and career. By knowing yourself, you have an idea of what you want to pursue so now you just need to line things up.
– Be open to pivoting and shifting. There is a need to establish some level of a journey but keep it open enough so that you can pursue opportunities as they present themselves and present themselves they will.
– Don’t label it. Many of us like to name a position or establish a career and then head towards it. By labeling, you set a firm established path. This is where 1, 5 and 10 years plans might help but if you are like me and organic, I don’t have labels but rather considerations.
– Have champions and enablers. These are individuals who will guide you along but not pressure you to go down a path. Many people might tell you what to do but a champion and enabler will share their experience and network to help you get where you need to go.
– Don’t be specific and don’t be aimless. Find the middle ground between these two positions if that is what feels right…or where ever on that spectrum feels good.
– Take the time to be. You need to take the time to be reflective and be the best you that is possible. Let others see you in your element and they will gravitate towards you. Combine your seeking with others searching and there is a good chance your paths will merge.
I am sure there will be critics and people who will tell me that this is not good advice. Correct, it is not good advice and part of the reason is that I don’t give advice, I only provide insight. Only those that connect to the concept of organic seeking will embrace this. There is no right or wrong way to do it, you have to look at yourself and what suits you best. If you need goal setting, great, do it and adhere to it and you will reach the goals. If you are like me, be organic and be true to that path and seek out what you need to do in life. One of my favourite saying is: “life is not to be solved but rather to be experienced.”
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