Tonight I attended my monthly goal-setter’s meeting. What is it? It is a support system for women to share goals, dreams, successes and failures. The group makes you accountable to your goals regardless of what you want to achieve, whether it is getting investors for a startup company, going on one date in a month or planning an exotic vacation.
Sometimes the goals are small and sometimes they are big. Sometimes they are realistic and sometimes they are lofty or a bit outlandish, such as,”Marry Josh Groban“. The thing is, if we never have high goals, how will we really accomplish great things? Accomplishment is about vision. Focus on your vision and things just seem to happen. Even if you fall short of your vision, you have accomplished something.You have moved ahead from where your feet were originally planted. Wouldn’t you like to eliminate the moss from under your feet? Go somewhere or do something?
As I looked over my goals, they seemed somehow wimpy. I realize it isn’t a competition, it is all individual. However, I seem to be missing my “Josh Groban”. In other words, what represents the pinnacle of everything I want to achieve? I realize now that I really have no idea. I thought I knew – I wanted to write romance novels. Now I wonder if that is the right path or maybe there is something else where I could better utilize my talents. So I am left to contemplate my visionary goal until the next month’s meeting. My self-analysis of my goals made me realize, we all need a Josh Groban.
What is your Josh Groban?
Several months ago I signed up for the unbelievable task of writing a whole fiction novel in one month a.k.a. NANOWRIMO. The fiction novel must be 50,000 words to qualify as a winner. (No, I did not add extra zeros there!) This particular novel-writing event is about quantity and not necessarily quality. No one reads the actual words, you just need to churn it out. I like this idea of focussing on creativity and not on structure, sentences, grammar, or spelling. How often in our lives can we focus for just one month on accomplishing a life-long dream? Maybe for me it is a life-long dream but for someone else it would be a nightmare.
I volunteered for staring at a blank page every single day of November with the objective of creating new and unique characters and then actually making them do something exciting, memorable, or at least interesting enough for others to read. I am not fooling myself on this challenge, because I know it will be a lot of hard work, but at the same time I am embracing it. The same way a marathoner embraces running. For me, I am running a race – a 30 day, 50k word race instead of a 26.2 mile foot race.
Some people might think I have signed up for a challenge of misery. Then again, I think people who sign up to run a marathon are the ones asking for misery. I am a runner – I know of what I speak. I ran a 1/2 marathon of which I was glad for the accomplishment, but I think I hit my limit on distance. I guess for writing, I am wondering what my ‘distance’ is. Can I go the distance and meet the deadline?
I ask anyone who is a novice writer, a wannabe writer, or a published writer to participate in this global event with me. Think about what you can accomplish:
1) Get carpal tunnel syndrome in just one month
2) Write a novel before Christmas and still have time for Christmas shopping
3) Save me from suffering this self-inflicted misery alone
4) Cross the finish line with a novel in hand
5) Share celebratory champagne, root beer, or cranberry juice with me on midnight on November 30th
Are you going to join in or just stand on the side-lines to cheer me on?
Without my brain I would be lost
Without a compass time can cost
Wandering through the willow trees
Going someplace, the place to be
Away I go, stepping toward that place
The place in which my dreams are made
The brain is the center, the brain is the core
Be free, be free, just open the door
A walk of opportunity a place for the brain
The brain will take you and show the way
Once in a while I keep wondering why
I look up, and up, and up to the sky
How will I get to where I want to go?
Without compass or stars, how will I know?
Have faith and follow your heart I say
Your heart, it knows, so follow it today.
As I was sitting on the patio in a comfortable chair, enjoying the warm air of an Arizona evening, my 4-year-old daughter handed me necklace after necklace to put on. The necklaces were pink and purple with an occassional silver or white one thrown in. It was as if she had a bottomless pit of necklaces to hang around my neck. As I looked down at my collection of necklaces, I wondered, “Can life’s riches (typically jewelry more valuable than these plastic necklaces) weigh us down?”
If we weren’t hindered by our wealth, would we live our lives differently? Would we be willing to take more risks because we have nothing to lose? It seems as we gain money and valuables, we feel like they give us comfort and security. More comfort gives us more stuff to lose. We have nice things, yet I wonder if it just stresses us more because the ‘things’ are holding us back from true happiness.
Risks are for those who have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Do we stop pursuing our dreams because of fear? Or of losing what we have? If we always play it safe, we might never get what we really want and need. The heavy weight of our ‘necklaces’ strung around our necks pulls us down, closer to the ground. We become so heavy that we cannot move forward because we are so loaded down with our comfort and security.
The most important thing we have is us. What is inside. We are not defined by the stuff we have, or the things we surround ourselves with. I realize, as I sit here in my chair, the simplicity in which I could be happy. All the things around me – the air, the water in the pool, the light above my head and even the patio itself, are temporary. A pen and a notebook are all I need to write. A chair provides a place to relax, but any chair, pen or notebook would do. However, if I assume that all of the ‘stuff’ will be gone tomorrow, then when I wake up in the morning, I will experience excitement and euphoria that it is still there. Really? Or would I have more opportunity if I woke up to nothing? The best part of the day is waking up with the opportunity to live another day, to breathe another breath, or to run another mile. When the door of opportunity has opened, what will you do with yours?
An idea becomes a wish
A wish becomes a dream
A dream is just a dream
Not real life it seems
Oh dream, Oh dream
How can it be?
What though art?
A vision from the heart?
Where might I go?
My brain will know
It tells me in a dream
What might I glean?
My dream is my guide
My dream by my side
Pushing me along
like a bird’s songs
Dreams grow and grow
Someday I will know
I can live my dream
A dream is life I believe