The Meaning of Life and Setting Goals – Part One: A Phone Chat with Mom

Today was my “Me-Day-Staycation”.

This, of course, means a day when I stay home — as opposed to vacating — and focus on myself. More often than in previous years, I’ve been making the most of these days off from other responsibilities. The purpose of today’s Me-Day-Staycation was to re-evaluate and refine my goals. Having just celebrated a significant birthday, I have been considering: “What do I want to do with the rest of my life?”

Earlier this week, I was doing an exercise in my Ambit Energy training manual that said the absolute first priority is to define your “Why”: What are your goals and why are they important to you? I went blank. Blank! This was NOT the first time, either! I had the same reaction at Unleash the Power Within with Tony Robbins in 2011, and in 2009 with Carlos Marin’s workshop Automatic Riches. Still blank. Then, brief feelings of sadness, then frustration…In all my free time this week since then, I have been actively taking time to remember earlier and recent dreams and goals.

What are the differences between dreams and goals?

A dream is just a concept while a goal is specific. Goals are recorded (in writing, or in audio or video) with: (1) achievable details including quality (how to identify what all senses experience when you achieve it) and quantity (how to measure it); and, (2) a deadline.

I know, I know: In his book The Practice of Management, Peter Drucker taught “S.M.A.R.T. for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.” However, I don’t use the acronym because I believe attainable and realistic are redundant, and the specifics of a goal include quantifying it, so measurable and specific are also redundant. But then, he may have been going for the acronym intentionally.

In my adult life, most of the goals I have written in clear detail, I accomplished! When did I stop recording my goals and paying attention to my hearts desires?

I had to call my mother.

My mother and I have been close for most (but not all) of my son’s life. She was a regionally acclaimed business professional in her late 30’s to mid 40’s until she was in an explosion that changed her life toward one that has since been spiritually-focused. With the subject of goals on my mind, I wanted to talk with successful people who lost or changed focus, as I discovered I had done.

After prefacing the conversation, I asked my mother about her early goals and why she stopped focusing on them. She shared personal reasons and revealed to me something I had not considered: She chose to focus on her spirituality rather than the material goals. I respect and appreciated the answer, and it gave me some insight into my experience based on Law of Attraction. I HAVE been focusing…on the wrong things, arguably. My focus has been on being flexible. The current name of this blog, “The Profound Generalist” is one that reflects my wide and varied interests and the range of my attention. Law of Attraction says what we focus on grows, and clearly my focus on being flexible, diversified, and general has come to fruition. Amazing. Profound.

Weeping on the phone with my mother at this realization, I asked her, in a childlike manner, “What would you like me to be when I grow up?”

Mom’s reply was profoundly simple: “Happy!”

That was the best possible answer she could have given me. A timely gift in that moment. I wept. We said our I love yous, and I got off the phone and started writing out my long-time, heart-felt, inspired goals.

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