Culture & Society · Food & Health · Recollections & Reflections

On Goals — even if they seem to take foreveeeeer

I’ve come to accept that I will probably be running 5ks for a while. And maybe that’s okay.

When we make goals for ourselves, it’s natural to want to reach them quickly.

Isn’t that what our society implicitly tells us? Make a goal. Accomplish it. And then on to the next! It’s like we’re supposed to be workhorses that never stop.

But why?

Do we ever take the time to examine why we’re always in a rush?

Does achieving those goals ever truly satisfy us?

No. Once we achieve something we thought at one point was insurmountable, we belittle that thing, and then look at others who are running marathons (to use the running metaphor, but in my case, it’s not merely a metaphor: I’m literally comparing myself to people who run marathons).

I look back on all my past achievements and they almost mean nothing now. “Yeah, but I didn’t do that.”

Even comparing myself to where I was before doesn’t help. I didn’t beat my personal best this morning. I can make excuses, sure, but it doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t improved as much I would have liked.

Does this mean I give up?

I think back to speech team in high school. I joined to improve my public speaking skills. But review after review (in a single year, mind you) convinced me that public speaking wasn’t going to be a thing I would be able to conquer. So, I “quit” the second year. Perhaps if I had taken those bad reviews in stride and continued throughout my four years, I would have improved. Who knows?

But because I quit, I will always see this decision of mine with regret.

Things take time to come to fruition. People spend years mastering a particular skill. Why should I be any different?

2 thoughts on “On Goals — even if they seem to take foreveeeeer

  1. Your musings about why people feel the need to accomplish all of their lofty goals in a hurry reminds me of Nathan Zed’s video titled “Succeed by 25…OR FAIL FOREVER.” Haha. Good video. Good stuff.

    As for what you said towards the end, I’ve learned that sometimes quitting, or giving up, is 100% without a doubt the best thing you can do for yourself. Quitting on something that isn’t meant for you is succeeding in going for what makes you happy. What am I, a motivational speaker now?

    :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I might need to watch this video! I wonder what he would say about me, a thirty something who still has no clue. I agree. I used to think quitting meant I was just being lazy… But we have to accurately assess why we are chasing our goals in the first place. Is it because we genuinely are interested in them or because we think that’s what we need to do because society tells us? I’m not giving up on running though. It’s tough and not as regular as it should be, but damn, it feels good to finish my “race” and still be alive at the end :)

    Liked by 1 person

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