I was thinking about this question after reading an article in a magazine about setting goals. The article had four steps for setting goals, and six steps for meeting them. Included were your usual tips for visualizing your goal, writing it down, and making a plan of action to meet the goal.
The article made a good point to imagine how meeting the goal will make you feel. Will it make you happier? The article then went into a discourse on me… or rather dreamers. Those people who sit around dreaming about meeting goals, but not doing anything about it.
So that got me thinking. I’m very good at thinking about what I would do if I ever won the lottery. But what would I REALLY do? I can’t constantly travel, backpack, mountain bike, party, play soccer for the rest of my life (but I’m sure I could make a good faith effort).
Here are the things that came to mind:
- Travel big time
- Go on outdoor adventures and backpacking trips
- Buy a nice house
- Buy a really nice car
- Get in shape via a personal trainer
- Eat healthy with a cook/dietician
- Read a lot of books
- Work on open source projects and write lots of interesting code
- Learn to produce music on the computer
- Learn photography
- Live up to my name through Philanthropy
And the list goes on and on. The point of this excercise is to ask myself, if these are the things that would make me happy, what’s stopping me from doing them right now? The answer is that nothing is stopping me. I don’t need to wait to win the lottery (which will happen I tell you!). In fact, I’m already doing all these things to one degree or another.
Granted, I have a lot less time and resources to accomplish these things. Since I have to pay the bills with a J-O-B (and since I have a nasty habit of needing 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night), I can only devote a small portion of my time to Philanthropy (because you knew that’s what I do in my spare time, didn’t you. Didn’t you?). Thus I have to settle for a less nice house, a less nice car, less time to go to the gym, etc…
Now before you go off thinking “What a freakin’ whiner!”, I’m not writing this as a “woe is me” diatribe. My point is that I am very fortunate to live in a time and place where I can meet all my goals (though not as fully as I may wish) without winning the lottery or selling my firstborn. But in order to do that in a more fulfilling manner, it’s important to reflect on what more specifically are my goals and why would they bring me fulfillment and then make a plan.
So what would YOU do if you won the lottery? Discuss amongst yourselves and comment!