Posted by: syncopated1 | April 2, 2011

Chapter 10: Goal!

A lot of people say that life is like a chess match; to win you must think six, eight, even ten moves ahead. As someone who lives 75% of my moments ‘winging it,’ I can’t answer to that. But I can say that you can set away happiness for a rainy day (or not so rainy day) with a little bit of work.

For instance, way back in August, my boss set us on a pull-up challenge. We all set bench marks and reconvened on December 23rd to see how we improved. My benchmark was 5. I dutifully did a few pull ups here and there over the next month…roughly three times a week after work. On the 23rd, much to everyone’s surprise I cooly busted out 13! Showing nearly 300% improvement that day was one of happiest moments that I hadn’t really paid all that much attention to.

Where in nearly everything else I proactively seek to do things that make me happy, engaging in a simple goal such as increasing the number of pull ups I can do was a surprising success in both finding happiness and pursuing my goal of being in better shape. The point here is to set for yourself short term goals that are nearly guaranteed success (there has to be at least some element of failure or what is the challenge?). In this way, like my pull ups, you find yourself pursuing something of little consequence, so that if you are derailed by some unforseen calamity you are not hinging much on the outcome. But if you should succeed then you not only have completed something for yourself, but you also get bragging rights (at work, among your friends, in front of your mirror, whatever).

So in keeping with this I have set a few short term goals for myself that I know will promise much happiness should I complete them:

1. A new pull up challenge with Jess Stammen for the North Yarmouth Contra Dance Pull Up Bar; the goal: 17 pull ups.

2. Mid April make a new mast and sail for my boat. The sail is the challenge…sail making is an art, and incredibly difficult.

3. Complete the MDI half marathon with Val.

 

I’m sure I will come up with more, even shorter, less consequential goals. In the meantime, what are your goals?

To help you achieve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZKhpbfR-LE&feature=related

And a link from my friend Jessica: http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_ferriss_smash_fear_learn_anything.html

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