Good day, readers!
I've shared on this blog about my experience as a soccer player but for those who don't know, I played my whole life, including two seasons of D1A Varsity at Cornell. I quit only after 3 surgeries on my ankle from soccer injuries including a fibula fracture, staph infection and torn ligaments that were reconstructed in July 2010.
While you can take the girl out of soccer, you can't take the soccer out of the girl nor can you remove the main principle, which is to see a GOAL and score. Seeing soccer balls in the back of the net makes me happy. Scoring goals feels like as much a part of my DNA as a sensitive stomach (restraint of pen and tongue here, so badly do I want to give the details on that) which is why I was struck when I came across advice in one of my favorite newsletter/blogs, ZEN HABITS, telling me to give them up.
The post is called HOW TO HAVE THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE WITHOUT SETTING A SINGLE GOAL and it's actually a guest post by Jeff Goins. But I remember this wasn't the first time hearing the concept from ZEN HABITS, so I searched and found the post THE BEST GOAL IS NO GOAL which is from July 2010 (exactly date 10 days after my surgery, actually) and by Leo Barbuta himself. Leo credits huge leaps and successes in his life, from professional to personal. Instead of goals he embraces habits, instead of plans he embraces passion and instead of fixed destinations he encourages, well, having an open mind:
And there’s the rub: you have to open your mind to going places you never expected to go. If you live without goals, you’ll explore new territory. You’ll learn some unexpected things. You’ll end up in surprising places. That’s the beauty of this philosophy, but it’s also a difficult transition. ~Leo Barbuta
When I think about 2011, most if not all of the coolest things that happened to me professionally, including my short play SUSPENDED getting into two festivals (both of which I acted in), joining a cool theater company, performing in 6 plays, doing an on-air entertainment report for BBC America, teaching various fitness classes for BeFit NYC, healing my ankle, witnessing the beautiful growth of Central Park intenSati, writing music and travel stories for BBCA.com and BBC.com/Travel, all happened without a plan AT ALL. What I set out to do in early 2011 was get healthy, powerful, strong, abudant, more creative, and happier. I wanted to see growth the many areas of life, which I did, without saying exactly what I wanted to do or how.
So, to some extent I've released a goal setting mentality, even though I definitely keep these milestones in the back of my mind as some markers or measurements of my dreams coming true.
I don't have any answers and will not tell you what to do. What I will say is that if you DO want to work from a goal setting mentality, that's great, but don't forget to do what so many people suggest, which is, to enjoy the journey. Metaphor Alert -- every pass, dribble, tackle, loss of the ball, header, throw in, and shot on goal is meaningful. It's not just about scoring. And it's certainly not just about the win.
And if you don't want to do goals, I can say what's worked for me is just matching the FEELING of something really good -- LOVE, JOY, PEACE, CREATIVITY, HAPPINESS, ABUNDANCE, GRATITUDE -- and then asking the Universe to lead me to those opportunities, people, places and things that bring those same feelings to my being. It's like asking to be lead by way of the feeling you want to evoke by choosing to feel those feelings first. Coaches and the like call this law of attraction by way of cultivating good vibrations.
With all the joy, pain, turbulence, inspiration, thoughts, feelings, relationships, experiences and challenges, life is just a day at a time venture, so whether you're going for the goals or taking a knod from Zen, just embrace the way you find your way.