Setting too many goals is like having a temperamental rapid-fire rocket launcher.
Big explosions forward can happen.
More often though, outcomes are random, in spurts and uncertain.
Recently I’ve been advocating taking on more things in life, more goals, more activities – squeezing the day out of every single day. My thoughts came from the realisation that it’s not what we don’t do that we remember and take pride in, it’s what we do!
So the logical next step is to do more, to experience more and to ‘live’ more
Part of this realisation is my experience with a lot of students that I’ve met at Melbourne Uni. Don’t get me wrong, these guys and gals are amazing people, they’re often driven, ambitious, interesting and friendly. However, their reality with hard work, long hours and doing what needs to be done troubles me.
I noticed early on in my university experience that I could do more with my days than to just focus on my studies – I’d trade maybe a few percentage points overall for doing some endurance events, studying to be a personal trainer, or reading extra-curricular or irrelevant books.
Rising at 5:30 3-days a week to hit the pool for a few hours, before class, then running or cycling in the afternoon/evening is pure self-indulgence, but the alternative might have been spending countless hours at coffee shops, at bars or watching tv — or in bed. I’m not proposing that there’s anything wrong with this, rather these nebulous, undefinable ‘lifestyle’ experiences do not form amazing memories nor stories for us to share with friends and family later.
Struggling up in the morning to struggling home in the evening and crashing to bed, I propose, is fulfilled living. In times when it was going well, I felt like life needed to be ‘turned up’ in difficulty, so I’d take on more – whether that be impulse entering Melbourne marathon (again), or taking up violin lessons, or launching a second website…
Overwhelm is chunking too big.
It’s an awesome mantra (I learnt from Mark Ottobre at Enterprise Fitness) for appropriate goal-setting and perspective. I fundamentally believe that we can have what we want out of life, all of it. Just not all at the same time.
More often than not, not having enough time for something means its not a priority at present.
Acknowledge that and say that.
It might mean it never happens, if we are cool with that, then forget it.
If that’s something we aren’t okay with – get after it, sleep less, book something in, commit to discomfort and tiredness and spending some resources in getting this goal done.
Maybe do some more, maybe dial it back – either way, spending a little more time uncomfortable in the pursuit of our ‘good life’ is worthwhile.