New Year thoughts.

Welcome to the New Year. “So what are your plans?” And so it goes, on into Resolutions that too often have simply never worked, and other sad tales.

Well… there are always those SMART goals or many other tools. Most are designed to trick us into making a stab at something attractive out there in the February et al soon to come. And we just don’t feel like it, OK?

Might be a ruse too familiar, or some evil seed of despair. Oh my, dystopian or what. And drat, 1984 has already been written. So what would it take to change that SMART stuff into something at least mildly interesting and, please, fun. We need something funner than SMART. Sure, it can actually be helpful to have ‘targets’ to shoot at. Even if we miss some along the way, they will help to build a  ‘we are not alone’ kind of comfort, in amongst our blahs.

Why not have some ‘aspirations’ in the mix? Whoa, I like aspirations. They feel funner than SMART goals, sales quotas and, ugh, committee meetings. Another thing about aspirations is that they don’t have a lot of icky rules. And they can be big, wide, sloppy things that I don’t have to defend to anyone. Plus, the aspiration has a magnetism toward something I really want. Sounds delicious. Yes to aspirations. J

Aspirations speak to me of forward, the bright bits I want in my future, stuff I can welcome and will enjoy. I can feel excitement about an aspiration. Not so much for goals. While I am luxuriating in the feeling of living my aspirations I too feel appreciation for the foundation I stand on, that seems safe to aspire from. Yes, appreciating my roots reminds me of some of my strengths. Sometimes I forget so I’ll take those feelings, thank you. A little appreciation of what I can bring to the party is good.

What else? Well, I feel supported by what has already been done, I can lean on my past, what is behind me, and appreciate the bits of wisdom that distill out of my life already lived. The past got me to here and now. So, uhm, thanks, I guess.

OK, if past is behind, then aspiration is in front. I can already feel myself SOARing ahead. Aspiring my way into an amazing future (well at least February). I’m watching for the direction that will bring me the most happiness. Shhhh, it might not be just money. Don’t want to swerve too far right or left, just keep on aspiring (and avoiding Committee meetings, definitely). The right leaning people are sometimes just too ‘individual only’ focused and the left leaning people can sometimes be annoyingly, uhm, ‘inclusive, we, together and woo woo’.

So, if I am viewing all of this from inside a cube, which side is yet to view? Ah, up, of course. Up is where dreams are. It is where Corporate spends tons of money to come up with ‘the vision’ for their organization’s future. Simon Sinek tells us that our ‘why’, the reason we go the extra distance, try even harder, is because we know our ‘why’. We can feel the dream (that ‘why’) and it fuels us. Aspiration has a destination out front and it comes from Up, in our fondest dream, our ‘why’. No wonder it is so delicious. Oops, not ‘no wonder’ but all wonder. The dream that is Up is wondrous and attracts like nothing else. It pulls us ahead.

Out ahead is the ‘how’ (direction, map, actions) and up above is the ‘why’ of our aspirations. Yum.

What are your aspirations?

Joseph Seiler MCC

PS: goals are valuable, just not as powerful as when paired with aspirations