Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


Goals And Dreams

I was having a discussion this morning with a coworker about advancement in the company. I had to explain to him that I wasn't interested in all the corporate classes and stuff on advancement, because my chances of promotion here are so close to zero as to not be significant. That's assuming I'd even want promotion, which I don't.

He replied "Don't you have goals and aspirations?"

I replied "I do, just not here."

Of course I have goals and dreams. They just don't involve working here, at a global mega-corporation. I could give plenty of reasons why I'm not interested in corporate advancement, but I think it would be better to explain what I do want to reach for.

What are my goals and dreams? World Domination? Immortality? Orbiting Space Lasers?

No. Interestingly enough, I've already achieved most of my dreams. When I stop and think about it, what I really want is to expand on what I've already done. Become an author? I've done that. Become a professional musician? Done it. Public speaker? Done that. Mentoring my kids and other young adults? I've gotten to do that, and am still doing that.

What I want, more than anything, is to be able to do those things to the fullest of my ability. I want to be able to throw myself into these passions with the time and energy I feel they deserve, not second-hand leftovers once my day job is done with my brain. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't daydream about what could happen if I were able to put 100% of my energy towards writing, or music, or mentoring/fathering. I'm always wishing I could follow my passions more.

I'm already following my passions, really. I just can't dedicate (what I feel is) enough time on them. And it's not because I'm driven to do more, necessarily, but I'm always wanting to give it my all, give it 100%. I don't like doing things halfway. I think big... and I dream big. And living a non-big life can be frustrating, not because I feel like a failure, but because I want to see what it would be like, how far I could go. It's in my nature to challenge myself, to wonder how big I can go.

Most of the time I just think about it. But you see it in my eyes every time I talk about driving across the country, or building a battlebot, or whatever.... part of me knows I could do it. And part of me wants to find out. Could I ride my bike 125 miles? I thought I could do it... but I wanted to find out. So I did it.

I'm okay with even doing one challenge at a time.. which is pretty much what I've been doing. But as soon as I conquer something, I'm immediately looking for the next mountain to climb. I'm an adrenaline junkie. I am alive when I'm doing big things, throwing myself into a project with all of my creative power. One day I decided I wanted to learn how to do 3D modeling... so I taught myself how in 2 days. Boom, mountain conquered. That was a rush! What's next?

Some folks would say "you're already doing more than most people dream of! How can you say you're falling short?"

As you know, I'm pretty hard on myself. I don't really see myself as falling short, or as a failure, but there's always the temptation of "I wonder what 100% would look like?"

I will always be torn between having to be responsible, and thinking big. I will always have to choose between what is possible, and what is practical. I'm getting more used to it, but there are still days I get that twinkle in my eyes, and the mountain calls me, urging me to climb until my arms and legs give out from exhaustion. To test myself.

I have a rather nice collection of accomplishments in my past. I could die today a happy, accomplished man. But metaphorically speaking, I'm a mountain climber... I was born to climb mountains. Conquering challenges is what God made me to do. I relish it. I thrive in it. Why do I climb them? Because they're there. Those three words that get me in more trouble than any others: Because I can.  And that's what I was made to do.

But I suppose it's natural at some point to begin teaching others to climb mountains, and retire my climbing gear. There's no shame in being an experienced achiever, and passing on those lessons learned. Tons of people could use what I've learned to climb their own mountains.

I don't think I'll ever stop wanting to challenge myself. But I hope I'll be able to be more selective on which mountains I choose to climb. I know I can do it... but sometimes its just not necessary. My possibilities are unlimited, but I can't climb all the mountains, so I need to make them count.

I suppose even when I'm old and gray, I will still hear the voice of the mountains calling to me. Even when I'm tired and I have no strength left to climb, I will still hear the voices.

Come. See how far you can go. How high is it to the top? There's only one way to find out. Rise to the challenge!

That's what I was made to do.

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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