Does it seem like every time you set a goal, consciously or unconsciously, guilt is unavoidable?
Set a career goal, then starts a guilt of may be having chosen a better path, having equipped yourself better, more smarter contacts?
Motherhood, full of Guilt .. should I have started even earlier? should I have spent more time? should I have been a better person? So much so that in the words of Arianna Huffington “I think while all mothers deal with feelings of guilt, working mothers are plagued by guilt on steroids”So
Having struggled like everyone else with my share of goals, guilt and grief , here are the two most inspirational yet sensible ideas that appealed to me
- Set a goal that is inspired and is in line with that which you value most
We set goals that clash with two values. If career is your goal then you must place it at the top of your list and understand it deeply that if you feel unhappy about giving up your job and sitting at home, you cannot be a good mother either. If you choose family, then realise that you chose it. All you need is a clear understanding of what is it that you value the most, that which will create conflict in you if you feel you are not giving it your best.
- Set a goal so high that you can’t reach it.
While it seems counter intuitive, it has two wonderful ways it works. One, you constantly grow striving hard. Secondly, all the intermediate stops become stepping stones. If you miss one, you have to find another path, but you have not failed, since you are still on your way.
To understand this without the cobwebs of an adult mind working on hyper drive, just look at a child. They create big and small, ridiculous and meaningless goals all day long. They proclaim they are going to be a scientist and work hours to put together a contraption that fall to pieces. Yet they beam with pride. They try to build a tall tower with a lego set without understanding how to. Spend hours at art that is nothing more than a mess. They fail, struggle but keep going on relentlessly… because it is something they wish to achieve from the bottom of their heart . They don’t dread these goals (unless it’s a goal defined by a grown up), No confusion. No guilt
Thus a single point focus and inspired work along can give us a guilt free goal. Note I said, goal.. not goals!
(Here is a video of my inspiration Swami Chinmayanada explaining Goal setting in his inimitable style https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpzDErnEhyI)