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Dreams, goals and motivation

August 17th, 2008 at 03:23 pm

I've really been into the Olympics this year. Even without the champion that is Michael Phelps, the athleticism and dedication displayed is just amazing. Many of the athletes competing have literally sacrificed everything just for a chance at the gold.

It makes me think about my own life, and what direction I want to take. Some days, I feel quite confident. Others, it's like I'm floundering in the middle of the ocean during a hurricane. And there are still those days when I all I want to do is go home, curl up on the couch and watch reruns of 'Bewitched' episodes on TV Land.

There are so many things I want to do.

I want to publish my novel.
I want to become a respected freelance writer. (Enough so that I never have to work FT again!)
I want to race in two 10Ks next year.
I want to become a professional cheerleader.
I want to go skydiving.
I want to open my own bakery.
I want to write a screenplay (that actually becomes a relatively well-received movie.)

It's like I have all these things I want to do, but no clear way of getting there.

So last night, while writing in my private journal, it hit me. I write out my dreams, and turn them into goals by coming up with a clear plan. Then I ignore the plan. And it's not because I don't want something badly enough.

It's because I'm so afraid of failing that I'd rather not even try unless I know I'm going to succeed.

As dumb and hokey as that sounds, it's the truth. I stared at the television screen as I watched Michael Phelps make history last night, thinking to myself that I may never see this again in my lifetime, and wondering how I can transform myself to begin living the life I want to live rather than floating here and there.

I realize a lot of it has to do with my age, and a lot of it has to do with my depression over the past year. But I also realize that while motivation comes easy to some people, I'm going to have to make a conscious decision every single day to live out my dreams and to not become complacent. To not be so afraid of failure that when I'm on my deathbed, I look back with regret.

I once read a quote that goes something like this (and I'm paraphrasing): Every time you go visit a graveyard, you're visiting those unlived dreams. Those great American novels that were never written. Those musical compositions that were never heard. Those world records that were never officially broken. That cure for cancer that was never discovered.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I don't want that to happen to me. I don't think I'm being idealistic or reaching for the stars ... I just want to be happy and content with myself. And as long as I keep not trying to attain my dreams, I'll never be truly content.

My question(s) for you ... what are your dreams and goals? Have you given up on anything? What has stopped you from going after what you want in the past? How do you keep motivated to attain your goals in the future? And do you have any inspiring quotes/stories to share?

6 Responses to “Dreams, goals and motivation”

  1. dwallyfam Says:

    Read "The Last Lecture". Randy P says "that sometimes it is better to fail fantastically than to play it safe". I feel that is such a great statement.

  2. sillyoleme Says:

    I've always been fairly internally motivated (amazes BF)... but sometimes I can lose track of my big-picture goals by getting immersed in the day-to-day. Sometimes I feel uninspired at work, because I can't see how stocking shelves today will lead me to greater things tomorrow. But then I remember that I'm stocking shelves (and doing everything else that I do) for many reasons. One is that I want to make a good impression on my current manager, so that at the end of my training, she gives me a good recommendation to the corporate people. I also do it so that I'll be better prepared to take on my own store, or whatever other career route I choose.

    But the reason I do all of that is so that in the future, I can CHOOSE to work where I want, move where I want, do what I want, and give my future family the life I always thought I'd have.

  3. cargirl86 Says:

    I love "The Last Lecture." Randy was a very inspiring man.

  4. Blue Eyes Says:

    I've always wanted to be a pharmacist and still do. When I went to college initially, I didn't want to spend 6 years in school (which is the length of the program) to get a decent paying job. I opted for another health career which required only an associate's degree. Now that I have a good income, I think that working in my current field part-time is an option when I decide to continue my education. I want to wait until my DS is a bit older to enroll in the program. In the meantime, I might take a class here and there for the pre-requisites.

  5. LuxLiving Says:

    I'm getting to be a bit long in the tooth and for years my only staying power motivational tool is a list. Making one, prioritizing it and being able to mark stuff off as completed is a big push for me. I always get MORE MORE MORE done with a list!

    At times my Hubster gets overwhelmed by so much stuff to do that he crumbles and does nothing - but yet, I can never convince him of the absolutely mind-freeing thing that happens when it's on the list and I know I'll get to it, but for now I'm working on priority goal 3 on the list and I can whiz ideas around in my head for goals 3 & 4 without worrying overmuch about goal 16 because I know I'll get to it in due time. Literally writing them down and crossing them off.

    A website that I've used before (only their free stuff I've never spent any money here so my referral can only go so far) that is a helpful motivating force, and it's based on making a master list and improving the quality of your work is called the Time Quotient:

    http://www.thinktq.com/

    You might want to give it a look see.

    Sounds like you have some great goals. Naturally, since some of them like cheerleading have a shorter shelf-life as you age I'd put them towards the top of the list. You can do it!!

  6. cargirl86 Says:

    Thanks for the link! I'll check it out.

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