a life without goals, is a life without hope…

do you have goals…

I did a goal setting exercise today that opened my eyes…I work with a vulnerable population and I truly believe that we as humans all have goals in this life…I remember arguing one day with a pretty influential person as I was stood behind a podium… “goals”, he said, “well you have pretty big expectations”…he went on to say “what about the people that have no goals, you’re not going to work with them?”…

I paused, rage building inside me and I paused again…i opened my mouth, parked my rage and simply asked “you don’t think everyone has goals, that’s kinda sad”…I paused again, parallel parked my rage and said “in the world of recovery, we believe everyone has goals”…another influential person in the room spoke up and I thought phew, finally someone to the rescue and I heard, I kid you not “I’m curious as well about what your program does with the people who don’t have goals”…now this conversation went on for over an hour…was I satisfied how the conversation ended? NO…was I satisfied how I handled myself in the conversation? YES…

I work in an industry where burn out amongst workers is pretty darn high…I promised myself years ago that I wouldn’t allow myself to get to the point where I would lose myself in my emotions, in the stories and the hardships that I deal with on a daily basis…how have I kept this promise to myself…well I strive to challenge myself and my practice to the point that I am continually learning and continually acquiring new skills…I haven’t experienced burn out in a way that I need an out – yet…I think what I’ve been experiencing is an overwhelming passion to help progress people along their journey…I’ve become enthralled in the believe that people can change, will change and embrace change – if they want it…I’ve lost myself in a fight for progression…a fight for change…a fight for recovery…

on my professional journey of progression, change and recovery, I’ve stumbled upon my own personal hurdles…and it’s through these hurdles that I’m actually able to evaluate and reflect upon my own interactions with all those I come into contact with…with reflection and evaluation comes the willingness to learn…it’s the learning that I’m loving…it’s my willingness to be open to examine my own thoughts and feelings and get to the bottom of who I am as a person that’s allowing me to become a stronger, better connected person and a healthier communicator…

change…who struggles with change…

the influential people that challenged me in a public form, challenged me on the concept of change…the simple concept of change that was put forth to effect positive change in the people i work with…the simple concept of change that was put forth as a means to move people along their path to recovery…why are people afraid of change…why are people satisfied with status quo…I’m starting to realize that just because I love change doesn’t mean I’m going to influence others belief that status quo is good enough…I wanna scream to the top of my lungs sometimes when I see people disregard others…I wanna scream to the top of my lungs sometimes when I hear people diminish others goals and dreams…

i have worked with many people and have met many people in my life…I’ve lost count of the people that I’ve lost respect for…that’s a sad statement…but I have witnessed many a thing in my life that has impacted me as a woman, a professional, a friend, an advocate, a survivor, a family member – impacted me in a positive way no matter what the circumstances or the results…I’ve learned over the years that to experience something is truly a gift…to be given the opportunity to share in someone’s experience is priceless…I know first hand that sharing is difficult…I’ve learned through recent experiences that disclosing is hard…I’ve come to appreciate the fact that sitting in front of someone that is holding a piece of paper, asking questions and jotting down answers is daunting…yet, I do it everyday…

my own experiences in life have taught me great value…although my greatest gift to myself has come recently…this gift wasn’t wrapped in tissue paper with it’s tight corners glued together with tape…there was no gift card on my gift with a To: and From: neatly printed on the label….my gift came in the form of a hurdle…in the beginning I stared at the hurdle and thought fuck that and walked around the hurdle in an almost robot like manner…the hurdle grew…I continued to stare at the ever growing hurdle and thought I’ll never jump that son of a bitch, my knees kill me from sitting at a computer (fitness at it’s finest here)…so instead of jumping it, I ignored it…I slithered like a snake between any cracks I could fit through, sometimes getting stuck in a corner…I’d push and push and push until I’d set myself free and the hurdle grew…the hurdle grew until I couldn’t see anything beyond it…it overtook my world…the hurdle was my barrier, my problem, my issue that I allowed to impact my world…

you may ask why I would refer to this hurdle as a gift…well quite simply, this hurdle taught me to slow down…it taught me that I can’t jump without the right tools…it taught me I can’t continuously push without reevaluating why I’m pushing…it taught me that ignoring it allowed it to grow…it taught me that the more loop holes I looked for the less I would experience…my hurdle taught me that it’s okay to have a hurdle…my hurdle taught me to breath…it took me months to chip away at this hurdle – and I’m thankful for that…for if it were neatly gift wrapped, it would have taken me seconds to unravel…although I would have saved time, I would have only skimmed the surface of the gift and I would never have gotten to peel off all the layers…

is your hurdle a gift…

when I started this journey, my goal was to write…writing I thought would be therapeutic for me…why was it important to me…well I thought by writing I could begin to peel off my layers and become undone in front of an audience…more specifically I wanted to write to help myself understand that sharing is good and that through sharing, I could embrace a world that I had shut myself off from…I thought by identifying a goal that would make me embrace my fears would make me a better person, a better sister, a better friend, a better niece, a better daughter and a better advocate…

I saw a show recently where an actor said she wasn’t afraid to be naked on camera…she said that she was more fearful of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or going to a cross fit gym than being naked on camera… i chuckled and then thought hummmm what am I afraid and not afraid of…well let me just clarify that I’m not afraid of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or going to a cross fit gym, cause frankly never would do either cause I’d die…but honestly, when I sat down to think about writing and putting my thoughts out there, I thought to myself, what if no one reads, what if no one understands, what if no one gets me – smelling a tad bit of fear here…and then I had another light bulb moment…I think I’ve feared peeling off my layers cause I would be exposed to others…but it’s been through this exposure that I’ve been able to grow…confused yet…

facing fears dead on is impactful…identifying goals in life is difficult…when you combine the both, the results can be significant…I found that I challenge the people I work with on a daily basis…I encourage them to embrace their fears and to identify how facing their fears can be such a positive experience with amazing outcomes…I don’t think I’ve felt how hard this is until recently…when I try to explain to someone that being goal oriented is a means to an end…being goal oriented makes us get up in the morning…it makes us accountable for the life we live…now does everyone take action right away on a goal – hells no…it could take forever to achieve a goal no matter what size…it’s individually driven…it’s individually timed…as long as it a smart goal, the sky is the limit…it’s how we navigate the road that’s gonna help or hinder us…

I did a goal setting exercise today that opened my eyes…I realized that the goals that I had prioritized as number 1 really wasn’t a goal of mine, it was more of a perception of what my goal should be…I sometimes get lost in that…get lost in the idea that society has a defined image of where a woman should be at 43; what a woman should look like at 43 and what activities should be part of a routine at 43…I used to feel guilty about not achieving goals…now I’m working on making my goals – my goals…I choose meaningful, purposeful goals because that’s what’s going to motivate me…that’s what’s going to be the ‘go get’em’ goal…if I choose a goal that becomes too difficult, too hard, too – insert word here -, I make a promise to myself to reevaluate whether that goal was mine or someone else’s…I also promise myself that if I do not achieve a goal that that’s fine too…a person must fail to learn…if everything in life were easy, we would have nothing to work towards…if we take away our experience of struggle and failure, we are also taking away our experience of problem solving and learning…

i went for a walk on a beach one day and came across a sand dollar…it’s beauty struck me and i took this picture…not knowing why i was drawn to it until today…i’m realizing that life isn’t meant to be perfect…our perceptions may paint a different picture but like a sand dollar thriving in the sea, with each wave, each leap into deeper water, each tide bringing it closer to shore, we too can get broken…in a store this sand dollar would be polished and shiny just like in our minds, our lives are brighter and bigger…in reality, we need to take a step back, readjust our glasses and peer into the world as it is laid out in front of us…at first glance, this sand dollar looks flawless…take a second look – its edges are battered, its colour dulled, its fighting for light, its fighting to breathe…it’s a resemblance of my world without goals and dreams…we don’t get the option to be comfortable at all times, we will be battered at times, we will have to fight for ourselves, we will have to fight to breathe – but the fight is worth it…look at the sand dollar – it’s beauty speaks volumes to a life lived with moments of fear, a life lived with moments of struggle and more importantly a life lived with hope…

take out a piece of paper…write down a goal…write down why it’s important to you and giv’er…

532567_10151933722550694_1508666725_n

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “a life without goals, is a life without hope…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s