Those of you who are goal-oriented individuals, you know who you are, you are going to relate well to this post. You are the type of person that will see a problem that needs attention and quickly a picture will develop in your mind so that you get a vision of bringing solutions to resolve the issue.
Once your mind sees the finish line, the bread crumbs of steps seems to materialize in your brain, so that a road map occurs that lines up what mini-goals you need to accomplish, in order to complete the end goal. The world needs people like you to provide leadership.
In addition to receiving the vision of how to get things done, the goal-oriented individual is energized by checking off each mini-goal along the way. endorphins in the brain produce happy feelings.
I share this description of a goal-oriented person from personal experience. I am a goal-oriented person. If this describes you, as well, let me give you a caution though that you will battle, as I do too, all the time.
Let me illustrate my point in all this by having you think of a couple of dancing. They are enjoying the music. They are enjoying each other. They know how to dance, so they are comfortable as they glide in unity across the dance floor. It’s a beautiful, romantic vision of two people in the moment.
This dancing scene describes well the person bent on living with goals. They embrace their goals. They live with them always on their mind. They glide through life having direction for where they will move and how they will move. Life, like the music at the dance hall has a rhythm to it and they enjoy their dance with their “having goals” partner. Can you relate to that?
BUT, ….. what happens when you get tapped on the shoulder, and someone says to you, “Excuse me, can I cut in with your partner for this dance?”
NOW YOUR PLANS HAVE CHANGED. THIS IS NOT WHAT YOU EXPECTED. WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW? HOW SHOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT WHAT JUST HAPPENED? DID YOU DO SOMETHING WRONG? IS THIS A THREAT? WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW THAT YOUR EMBRACING YOUR GOALS HAS BEEN TEMPORARILY SET ASIDE?
Can you relate to the change in the mindset of the person whose plans were just changed without his permission?
I think this is how life is. We have our goals in how we want to live our life. We feel comfortable being in control of our movements and our abilities, but then, as so often happens, things change in our life. New, unexpected things happen in our circumstances that break up the way we were dancing through life. At least for the moment, we are asked to deal with a new circumstance.
How can you deal with that? Here are a few suggestions:
- recognize that this is a common experience for us all. As much as we hate to admit it, we are not in control in our lives. We can’t control the weather or how other people will respond to us, or the unexpected health situation, etc. However, we can control how we will react in every circumstance in our lives.
- I don’t know of anyone who does not like to be in control, so how do you handle that feeling of insecurity that comes when life happens to you and your plans for living life get interrupted? Understand that God is faithful. He will not allow you to be overcome by ANYTHING that He will not help you endure through. Count on it. Although the way of healing or calm might not be a quick fix, He will be there with you every step of the way and give you His amazing grace to help you persevere. There is always hope!
- recognize the opportunities that come with being stretched. I believe over the years, regrettably, I have missed out on many opportunities for personal growth, and the chance to help someone in need around me, but because I so firmly had my “goal-focused” glasses on, all I could think of was myself. My obsession with meeting my own goals blinded me to many missed opportunities around me. Maybe your new circumstances might just be a good thing—embrace it!
- So, although I totally believe having goals is vital to personal and organizational success, I am also beginning to recognize that when the unexpected happens in life (like someone wanting to cut in and dance with my partner), I need to ask questions like, “what can I learn from this new development?” or “how can I take advantage of this new situation to enjoy and benefit from it?” or “Lord, what are you trying to teach me through these new circumstances in my life?”
That’s it for now. I delayed getting some things done this morning to write this post, so now I’m back to dancing with my goals partner! 🙂