Professional Student of Life
Adventures in personal growth
If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes. ~ Andrew Carnegie
It’s the goal-setting time of year again. Reading back over my previous January blog posts, I’m amused to see myself becoming less and less specific in terms of what I hope to achieve in the coming year. Even the word “achieve” feels suspect to me now.
This year I’m playing more with aspirations and how I want to live, rather than what I want to do. Many people choose a word that they hope will symbolize the coming year. I decided to look further ahead, choosing three words that sum up the life I aspire to live:
I want to live a life of adventure, inspiration, and love.
To me, adventure means having an open and questing mind and spirit. An adventure can be physical, mental, spiritual, emotional – or all four – but it always means that you are moving into new and exciting territory, stretching, growing, learning, testing, becoming…
Inspiration, for me, refers to both feeling inspired and – hopefully – inspiring others as well. Inspiration is one of my most favorite feelings! When I’m inspired, work seems like play, obstacles become games, and life feels exciting and meaningful.
Love comes in so many flavors, and I truly don’t prioritize one over the other. Parental love, friendly love, romantic love, love for the earth, love of self… any form love takes is good by me. It’s the most important thing there is: without love, I am a clanging cymbal, for sure.
So now, having defined my top three values or aspirations, I can use them as a yardstick to make choices in the coming year(s). If something or someone doesn’t foster a sense of adventure, inspiration, or love, I need to pass.
Then, to take it to the next level, I also thought about how I want to show up in, or experience, the individual moments and activities in my life:
I want to approach everything I do with ease and joy.
I think this is an important refinement. We can get everything right in the big picture, and still fail to enjoy our lives in each passing moment. It’s possible to bring an attitude of ease and joy into every activity, from brushing your teeth to going on vacation – and certainly also possible to do it without them!
So what your words would be? How do you want to live your life (big picture)? And how do you want to approach each day and moment?
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