“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” – Robert Heinlein
Why, I often wonder, do so many of us simply allow our dreams to evaporate like the morning mist? We dream of making something great out of our lives and then find it easier to settle for anything but greatness. We even inwardly chide ourselves for being so foolish to have had such lofty dreams in the first place. “Whatever was I thinking when I thought I could have done x…?” is something we might have told ourselves more than once. But why should we abandon our dreams so easily and settle for second best?
The answer lies in our passion and determination to succeed in making our dreams reality when things go wrong. And something always seems to go wrong. We may find that the amount of sacrifice we need to put in to make our dreams real is far more than we had bargained for. Maybe it takes too much time, or money, or mental effort or any one of a thousand other things. When this happens we just tend to quietly abandon those dreams and tell ourselves that it was never really meant to be.
Then we can all too easily lose our lives to mundane daily trivia which we willingly allow to consume our entire lives. We slavishly follow the fortunes of fictional characters on TV and then tell ourselves we don’t have any time to do anything about improving our own lives. We find fault in family members, work colleagues and friends and could debate their shortcomings for hours, while never giving our own shortcomings a second thought.
Now compare this to the person with a set of clearly-defined goals. We may often describe people like this as “driven” or “obsessed” because it seems that they allow nothing to ever get in their way. They don’t allow their dreams to fade away, but instead they put every ounce of effort into making them real. For these people when something goes wrong then this spurs them on to redouble their efforts to succeed. They make new goals to deal with the problem and they don’t stop making new goals until they have achieved the success they desire.
Make your life count for something. Don’t let life’s problems steal it away from you.