Archive for November 23rd, 2010

Today’s post is an exercise prompted by this article by “performance improvement consultant” Russell Bishop, and no doubt tied into the febrile state I’ve been experiencing for the last few days, the goal being to examine my list of want as this year rounds out and another approaches.

As 2010 comes to a close and we move through the holidays on our way to a new year with new resolutions and new goals, it occurs to me that we might all benefit from taking some time now to take stock of what we truly want out of life as opposed to what we seem to be settling for.

Want. Instead of ‘settle for’. Hm.

I clearly recall this time last year when top of my Want Parade was to have 2010 be a better year than was 2009; not too tough an agenda as long as no child of mine dies in that twelve-month span. (So far, so great!)

Of course, that wasn’t the only parameter I set for gauging “better”, just the most vital. I also wanted happiness, security, a bit of fun, some interesting work, few conflicts, a dearth of of incoming shit … stuff like that … most of which had a specific focus at the time.

Well … the year is about over now, so how did I do?

I had some happiness, occasionally felt secure, laughed a lot, worked a lot, had a few conflicts and some incoming shit, but nothing I needed to build a monument out of. Comme ci, comme ça, heh?

It occurs to me this morning that one want for the day is for Cj to get over her fever and for mine to abate, as well. If either or both of those things happen, I get what I want. Cool.

And isn’t that how want happens? It is in my world, since long-range wantings are too often smacked out of the reality ballpark by batters I can’t see swinging, so what’s the point of keeping my eye on those balls?

When I was seven I wanted two things more than anything I’d wanted before: a bike and a horse. I wanted a horse so badly that my Catholic-trained mind did hefty bargaining over it and left me questioning the whole point of prayer, but the bike was waiting under the Christmas tree.

I loved that bike right up to the point months later it proved the cause for a leg-mangling I bear the scars from to this day, but the joy of that Christmas morning scores high on my memory chart.

The point of the article, however, is ‘life goals’, which should ride a different scale than childhood lustings after toys, right?

In the course of my life’s work, I have asked literally thousands of people some version of the what-do-you-want question. For the most part, people tend to list all kinds of things they want. Cars, houses, money, and toys of all sorts frequently come to mind for most individuals. All pretty understandable, really.


Although my list has included a car that runs, and selling my house will be great when it happens … a holiday would be nice, too … I don’t consider these ‘life goals’. Next Year goals, sure, but like the bike, once gained, Want done.

Okay, this guy apparently makes his living helping people move up executive ladders where a car is a rung, a house is a rung, a holiday is a rung, and he does make that point:

If your focus on what you want is more on physical possessions, then at least you have some guidance about how to choose: which fork is more likely to lead to the job, house, car, or money? However, if what you truly want is found more in the quality of experience than the quantity of possessions, then you need to make certain that you are thinking about the experiences you seek and not just the possessions you could accumulate.

There is little doubt that the ‘quality of experience’ can be made much more attainable with a roof over the head, a car that starts when it’s supposed to, food enough, and all of what some of us are lucky enough to consider basics.

In the grand scheme I want: world peace; an end to hunger; corruption, stupidity and greed to fall by some wayside and rot; that beamy-uppy thing from Star Trek; non-fat sugarless Butter Pecan ice cream; and for me and those I love, happily ever after.

In the less-grand scheme, I want to finish the book I’m working on, my land to sell so I can live closer to town and a date for New Years Eve.

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