Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Goal Disposal for Idiots

Yesterday, we established that I was laboring under too heavy a burden of goals.  And, as Neil Fiore so eloquently put it, we must “abandon unattainable goals and halfhearted wishes” if we are to succeed.  Further, he says “[i]f you cannot find the time or motivation to start working on that goal, let go of it, or it will keep haunting you, making you feel like a procrastinator...”

Since I generally have a hard time letting go of things that have ever had meaning for me, the idea of abandoning goals is somewhat harrowing.  Kind of like amputation (Will I develop phantom goals?) or divorce (Who will get custody of my psyche?). 

Dr. Fiore’s suggestions of “planned setbacks” and “mental rehearsals” gave me the notion of practicing with a preliminary group of more or less throw-away goals.  I made up the following list of fairly easy to give up aspirations:

1.    Become a minister.
2.   Get involved in community theater.
3.   Become a dance therapist.
4.   Paint the basement.
5.    Join the Peace Corps.
6.   Become a midwife.
7.   Learn Spanish.
8.   Earn a law degree.
9.   Blend my family.
10. Become a dance therapist.
11. Build a porch onto my house.

None of these objectives make sense in my life currently.  Keeping them alive makes me feel like a procrastinator.  So I am going to abandon them. 

I offer the following ideas of how to accomplish such a jettisoning.

Ten Ways to Leave Your Once-loved Dreams Behind:

1.    Write the list on a piece of paper.  Fashion a paper airplane from the page, and send it soaring.

2.    Write the list on a piece of paper.  Hop off the bus, Gus, leaving the list behind.
3.   Write the list on a piece of paper.  Tear it into pieces, deposit it in a public toilet, and flush.  Flush again.

4.   Write the list on a piece of paper.  Ignite.  Be sure to let go before the flame reaches your fingers.  Sweep up the ashes and dispose of them.
5.    Write the list on a piece of paper.  Bury it, with or without a marker, on  land you can’t frequently access.  Dance on the grave.
6.   Write the list on a piece of paper.  Put it into a bottle, and launch it out to sea.
7.   Write the list on a piece of paper.  Eat your words, perhaps with ketchup.
8.   List the goals on a blackboard (like the wall in my back bathroom).  Erase.  Chant appropriate exorcising words to prevent reappearance.
9.   Visualize the kind of person who might be able to accomplish each outgrown goal.  Release it to find a new owner.
10. Draw a cartoon/caricature of yourself having accomplished each goal on your list.  Laugh heartily.  

Obviously, I will have to dig deeper in order to hone my focus.  But now I will have some tools to use in effecting the required removal.  (Why do I feel like Harry Potter in my kids’ video game, dashing around the Weasley’s garden doing battle with gnomes?)

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