People often think I operate with a five year plan. Nothing could be further from the truth. I just make sure I like what I see ahead in my life for the next 18 months.
I do have three big life goals that I set when I was a young adult. These are inviolate:
- See the world (I already achieved this to my satisfaction.)
- Make a mark. I am still working on that one–my ambitions expand and morph in this area.
- Be a good person.
The last one is super squishy. But it transcends the obvious Ten Commandment stuff. My definition of “being a good person” means showing up for the people I love, especially for their big events. I am not the person who can handle a daily call and my need for socializing is pretty low. But I aim to be there when it matters. The times when I failed to do so are ones I never forget. I use the disappointment I feel in myself as a catalyst to get on the plane the next time an inconvenient or urgent event occurs.
Lately this “be a good person” definition is broadening to overtly encompass “be helpful.” I am not writing this to toot my own horn–but I am recognizing that at my stage of life I know a lot of people and have made a lot of decisions and mistakes that I can share with my friends, colleagues and family. I absolutely love doing this and it is often the reason I work an extra long day–because you can’t help people without putting in the time.
On the subject of “Make a mark” I saw a post on LinkedIn today that made me happy. In the earliest starvation days of Grommet I bought a plane ticket to go to Chicago and hear Gary Vanynerchuk speak. I knew he was a visionary. Ten+ years later, seeing my name next to his (however wildly imbalanced our profiles are) gave me a frisson of joy.
Oh, on the subject of goals, my friend Julie Rodecker pointed me to a post about a loom at our high school alma mater and that led to my suddenly having a fourth life goal: buy this loom below. Isn’t she a beauty?