Vitriol, vituperation, and vacuous reasoning have replaced civil, measured, and thoughtful discourse, and I’ve had enough. I have opinions on everything from school lunches to the National Park System to why Neil DeGrasse Tyson is hot, and I’m not afraid to share them with the world. I may be a geeky nerd, or a nerdy geek, but I know that I am not the smartest person in the room, so I welcome honest, open and rational debate on any of my rants. We all know that the current state of the world is less than stellar but instead of bemoaning the horribleness of it all, I want to be inspired. I want to feel compelled to race out and fix the world, and I want to find out what tools are necessary to do that, and to share them, and to inspire others to race out there with me. Until I hear from the experts (both formally educated and self-taught are welcome in this forum), I will dispense what information and resources I have gleaned in my years of experience, on any and all subjects that pop into my head. I am interested in politics, law, science, energy policy, water shortages, horticulture, construction, interior decorating, and a host of other ideas too numerous to mention here.
You will, however, have to convince me of the value of discussing anything celebrity-related, or why we should spend any time affixing blame for anything that has happened up to whatever second you are posting your comment. I am not interested in name calling or personal attacks. This is an upbeat blog. I can find enough drama elsewhere; I’m not looking for any here. Remember what your mother taught you: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. That being said, on to the topic of the day:
Personal/Self-help: If your life isn’t perfect (and whose is?) set a goal. Goals have many uses, including taking your mind off how unperfect your current life is, and engendering the belief that your life may become perfect in the future. Meanwhile, the mere act of having goals makes even your current life more perfect. This works best if your goal remains unfestooned with words like should and ought, and remains a personal hunt for the sublime. The human brain thrives on challenges, and there is nothing more challenging than setting goals and attempting to achieve them. What could be more perfect? Some goals are big: I want to go to college.
Some are not so noteworthy, but they are just as important to the person involved: I want to learn to rollerblade. No matter the size of each goal, they all share one thing: they engage the human brain, the one thing we’ve got that sets us apart from every other creature. To not use our brains is to waste the greatest renewable resource on this planet. With enough time and effort, we can do everything from improving the little world inside our heads, to sprucing up the space we share with those closest to us, to saving the blue marble we all call home.
If you don’t have any goals currently stewing, take a few minutes to imagine what would make you want to get out of bed in the morning. Give yourself full rein to dream up anything at all that even remotely interests you. Even then, you may not be able to come up with a fully fleshed out concept. If that’s the case, then think about the types of things that you do or dream of doing, on any given day, that give you pleasure. Find the common elements in those things (I like planning parties, I like growing my own food, I like snorkeling), and you’ll be on the right track to figuring out a possible goal. Next, determine what it would realistically take to achieve that goal (education, practice, money). We are talking the realm of possibility here. If your goal requires you to have longer legs, forget it. You ain’t never going to achieve that. Move on. Otherwise, get started. Right now. Don’t wait. Picture yourself, five years from now, doing that thing that gets you ouf of bed. Now work backwards. What must you have accomplished in those five years, to be doing that thing? In four years? In one year? Six months from now? How about this morning ?What can you do today in furtherance of your goal? It may not be much, it may be but a drop in the bucket, but five years’ worth of drops suddenly adds up to a rainstorm.
On the other hand, there may be absolutely nothing that you can do today in pursuit of your goal. If that’s the case, then figure out what absolutely needs to be done in order to keep your life in some semblance of order and do that thing. Get it out of the way, so that it won’t be slowing you down when you start on your goal tomorrow.
Most important: Don’t be afraid of failure. Big secret: you will fail. Lots of times. Failure is Nature’s way of showing you that you’re making progress. The only way you are guaranteed not to fail is not to try. And don’t worry about looking like a fool. It’s a given that we all take our turn being stupid-head. So make your mistakes, own up to them, and move on. The bigest secret of all is: Keep Trying. Keep going. Even if things don’t work out the first time, or the fifth time, there will be a way that you can achieve your ultimate (realistic) goal. And think about it. Even if you never succeed, what else do you plan to do with your life? Might as well die trying to get the brass ring as waiting for the next bus. And don’t worry. If you can’t come up with a goal on your own, just let me know. I’ve got plenty to spare. I’m happy to share all my ideas for making the world a better place.
So, set a goal. Make a plan. Take a baby step. Maybe you’ll fall down, maybe you’ll move on. Either way, life is good.