Goal Setting is not my thing – HA

I’ve never considered goal setting my thing. I’ve never consciously set a goal in my adult life. I just drift and do, I think.

I didn’t set out to make straight As in college. I’d caught myself at being whimpery at a competitive grade loss in high school, junior year.

And I decided then and there: A ‘B’ is as good as an ‘A’. No more pressure cooker for me. No perfectionism.

I still graduated summa cum laude.

Later I learned that a century earlier Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote this phrase

A recent journey down memory lane injected an instant insight. I’d inhaled Gone with the Wind during a weeklong visit with my grandparents. The visit was to set me free and get me out of my mother’s hair. My brother was still in diapers and my baby sister was born. The toddler was a handful, too.

What was my parents’ relief was my relief, too. I embodied a fierce Scarlett O’Hara:

“God as my witness. I’ll never be hungry again.”

I’d stuffed a memory that nearly co-occurred – of having to choose rather than all the rides on a rare outing to an amusement park (Could King’s Island have already existed when I was in fourth grade?) While all of the other children on the field trip rode ride after ride after ride, I sat on the sidelines and watched, pretending not to be glum. You see, my mom had sent me with a dollar, probably cadged from the weekly grocery allotment, for the entire day. I had to choose wisely. A skill that carried forward…

Scarlett has served me well. She’s an unforgettable character. Like me. I’d apparently inwardly vowed to never be in a position to make hard choices of what to spend, a powerful motivator to achieve and to be monetarily content.

I am goal-focused.

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3 comments on “Goal Setting is not my thing – HA
  1. Jessica says:

    Oh, PJ! You and I are cut from the same cloth. I identified with much of what you wrote. I didn’t necessarily “aim” to get As in high school, but I did aim to be toward the top (not at). I wanted to be among the best, but no desire to be the best.
    When I got to college, I determined that a “B at Iowa State is an A in high school.” Since I knew that I could achieve As, there, then I should be able to achieve a B here – without taxing myself too much. As a result, I was a little social butterfly freshman year – not worrying myself at all about those grades. Looking back could I have worked harder and gotten a higher grade? Yeah. I could have. But, as Jesus said of Mary, “She has chosen the better, and it will not be taken away from her.” 🙂

  2. PJ Colando says:

    did you grow up with the quote “Anything worth doing is worth doing well”… so, knowing you, you were an excellent butterfly!

    As you still are 🙂

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