Hear that? That’s the sound of me aging. Seriously. So old now. Wait…even older now. You too, though (ewwww). But it’s especially noticeable for me, today, on this day my parents tell me is my birthday. Why? Because, if you’re like me, birthdays make you think. They’re weird like that.
And for THIS birthday, I’m gonna share my ULTRA SECRET and PROVEN way to motivate (good for ONE year before expiring!)…
You see…most use the New Year as a time to reflect on their life, or on what they want or hope to achieve in the coming year. Personally, I’m one of those that’s more of the opinion that…you know…all days are pretty much the same, and that it’s rather strange to ascribe any more purpose or direction to my life on January 1st than I did on December 31st. As if the calendar really mattered. As if the former were really the end of something, and the latter the beginning.
But, I’d say if ANY day should be like that – should be a time you reflect, or look forward, or set goals – it’s your birthday. Because only on your birthday is it another year in YOUR life, which is yours, rather than another added to the world’s, which (if you didn’t know by now) is not yours.
The problem though…is that I’m not such a “goal person”. Not long term, at least. Not a year into the future. I dunno why, but I just have never been able to focus on things too far out, to stay motivated to accomplish any particular or specific thing over so long a period.
Maybe that’s bad. Maybe I should try harder. I don’t know. But for me, I’ve always been much better with what’s in front of me, with what small things I can do now to get where I want to go then – a week from now, a month from now, a year from now. To me, that’s manageable. That’s motivation enough and reason enough to do what I need to do.
Vision vs Goals
And so on days like today, I never list out things I want done at this same point next year. I don’t bullet grand goals to strive towards, or count experiences to soon make reality. I don’t live by lists or checkboxes. I don’t plan my days by something I scribbled on paper 12 months ago.
I live my life, instead, according to my VISION of my life.
And so, on YOUR birthday, or New Year, or ANY day that you seem so eager to be reflective or predictive, I would (if we were bffs and hanging out) ask you this:
“How do you see yourself at this point next year?”
Now pause for a sec. The question is not what you think. It’s different than the stereotypical interview question of “Where do you see yourself in BLANK time?” Because I’m not asking specifically about what you’ll job will be or where you’ll live or any of that crap.
I’m asking who you’ll be.
And the question is different than “What are your goals?” Because it’s not simply a laundry list of things you want. It’s not the naming of your every dream or desire in life. Because unlike the typical New Year’s resolutions, or birthday resolutions, or whatever, the question really has NOTHING to do with the things that MUST be done from now till then to achieve an “end”, but ENTIRELY with what is ALREADY being done right now as means towards that “end”. Not the “end” of your desires, but the “end” of your Self – of who and what you are and will become.
Who will you be?
It’s not about the specific things you yet want to do or accomplish, then, but about the person you are becoming, and the life you are creating. It’s not about the new car you want, or job you want, or relationship you want, but about whether you are NOW becoming someone that might achieve those. In fact, it’s not about the external accomplishments or recognition or possessions at all, but about whether the internal compass of your purpose and attention are ALREADY set upon them.
Ultimately, it’s not about the final destination of your journey, but about the direction at which that journey – your self, your life – is pointed.
It’s about YOU – driven not by a list of tasks to complete, experiences to enjoy, or achievements to accomplish – but instead by the ideals upon which your better Self must live. You – driven by the idea of who you WILL become on your present course, and must every day work towards or against to achieve the vision you imagine.
Driven to BE, not to GET. Striving to BECOME, not to ACQUIRE.
Really, the question means this: With how you ARE now, and with what you are DOING now, where will that path lead you one year from today – inevitably? What person will that create and what life might that person expect? Will you be better than you are today? Will you be more centered, more strong, more deserving? Or will you be much the same, or even worse?
What is certain is this: Your life WILL be different one year from today – as ALL lives and things will be different. All things change. But will your problems be the same, and another year of your life wasted? Will your weaknesses and heartaches be the same – no different than today, or perhaps all your life heretofore? Will those things you perceive to be your handicaps still control you? Or will you have defeated them, or worked towards defeating them?
Life as an Arrow
What few see is that our lives are like arrows, always directed towards some end, always pointing towards some horizon – whether we see it or not, whether we like it or not. No life is ever stopped. No life is ever stagnant, truly. All are headed towards some destination; are set upon some path.
The dude who works day and night on some invention is creating his future every day. He’s setting himself upon a path that WILL lead somewhere, and – due to his hard work and desire – likely to a place of success.
The kid who sits at home all day getting high is also creating his future. He is setting himself on a path that will also lead somewhere, and – considering his interests – likely to a place unlike the inventor.
We too – however we are and with whatever we’re doing – are also creating our future every day.
Where does your arrow point, as you are now? To what does it point? Where will you be? How will you be?
WHO will you be, at whatever future point you set your imagination upon?
An arrow on a line cannot point at itself. It must always point elsewhere. WHERE is that elsewhere for You?
And so I don’t look at it as: “One year from today I want this and this and this…” I don’t care about that.
I see it as: “One year from today, who will I be, as a result of the actions I am taking now and have been taking recently?”
“Where will I wake up? With who will I wake up? What will I rise to do that day? And why will I rise to do it?”
“Will I be better off? Will I be better…?”
And when I have a vision of that – of that person, that lifestyle, that life – THAT is what I work towards every day. That is what drives me and what inspires me – that I become that person, that I create that life, that I am a year’s struggle closer to the fruition of the man whom I’m meant to be.
The vision, not the goals. The person, not the things.
And when that vision is set, only THEN are goals worth setting. Only then are they an achievable and attainable thing.
So, then…where do I see MY Self?
Well, this lil site of mine is doing better every month, and readership has grown an average of 106% a month for the last 8 months, including 60% last month. I figure then, that at this rate, in this direction, this time next year…this thing will consume most all of my sweet, precious time. I know how I will grow it and how it will grow. I know the changes I’ll need to make elsewhere in my life to allow it – at work, with friends, with myself.
I know it because I’ve seen it – in the vision I hold of my life and self.
I’ve seen the small island I’ll own – Australia maybe. I see that I’ll have grown a few mysterious post-growth inches to a very stout 6’5″. I see I’ll have my own army of intelligent monkeys, who clean around the house, and smote my enemies, and do my taxes and stuff. And of course I see that I’ll be about 35% cooler, and emotionally and physically invincible it looks like.
I’m pretty much almost kinda positive maybe sure it will happen
And if you choose not to belieber that, then I guess I’ll have to reveal the actuals in the coming months, as things happen, as SHORT TERM goals are accomplished, and, of course, as continents are purchased…
In any case, I have some work to do, and some becoming to begin. I have a vision of my self and life to realize.
What is your vision in life, for your life, for your self? As you are going today, how do you see your life one year from today? LEAVE A COMMENT and let’s discuss….