no goals for me thank you

“With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't set goals. 

I find goals to be limiting. When I focus on one piece of the puzzle, I miss parts of the whole. True, it is possible to focus on pieces and still be reflective about the whole. That works for some people. 

Not for me. That is the thing about goals. They are incredibly personal things. A goal is meant to be something that you achieve, that makes you a better person. How we achieve those things, how we grow as individuals, is dependent on our own personal philosophies of life. 

I am a wanderer. I need to be free to move around and let my mind follow the path it wants to follow. If I am focused on one aspect of something, I feel boxed in. I feel like I am being led by something else, instead of letting the feeling of the moment I am in be in control. That is what I crave more than anything else, being in the moment, with my eyes open and my feelings clear. It is an open way of being with the world. 

That is not to say that it is the right way to be. Rather, it is my way.

Of course, my philosophy on goals has a clear connection and impact on my philosophy of learning. Its all connected. What is learning? Learning is about being in the moment, paying attention to where you are, what you are doing, reflecting, and knowing yourself. Being awake with curiosity and wonder. Sometimes a path opens up, and I need to explore it. 

If I have a goal set (or set for me), then I may have missed all the possible paths. And those possible paths are the moments that I love. I love finding myself in the unknown. I love the process of re-orienting myself. The challenges of figuring it out as you go. The excitement of a new inquiry that leads you to new place. The wonder at tracing your steps back and seeing how everything is connected, and where you fit in this giant web of wonders.

Rather than set goals, I like to think of it as playing with ideas. Like a cat with a ball of yarn.

I take an idea
stretch it,
analyze it,
dissect it,
change it,
adapt it,
modify it,
take it apart
put it back together.

Where does it end? I have no idea. It just grows, and moves to something else. Sometimes it comes back to main ideas, centralized nodes in the network. But the network never stops. It is never complete. The original ideas just become woven into the whole, and then the growth continues in a decentralized manner, outward and inward.

If you don't know where you going, you'll never get there. This is the defense of goals. And it works for some.

But I say, If I don't know where I am going, I am bound to end up somewhere.

Notice how I changed the you to I. Again, it goes back to the personal side of it. Goals are meant to be a very personal, intrinsic endeavor.

I enjoy the process far more when I don't know where I am going, and I am far more engaged. Wandering is my way.

What's yours?


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