We all want something. Everyone has “wants” in life. Maybe our wants are very simple like a glass of water, a slice of pie, or a walk in the park. But when a “want” is bigger and an individual has to work for it, now it becomes a goal. Some of these goals are simple. Such as saving for a new tool, looking for that special piece of wood, or even designing your next build. Everyone has a goal that’s special to them.
I like setting goals. Every year I make a list of goals that I want to do. I try to keep the list in a place where I can see it every day. I review the list on a regular basis because I believe it helps motivate me. Well, after a full year, it appears I accomplish very little. For 2020 I had five goals and achieved one. For 2021 I had eight goals and accomplished two. Not the best track record. So much for being motivated. I ask myself, “Why is that?” Could it be that my expectations for my goals were too high? Probably. Was it because I didn’t use my time effectively? Most likely. Did I let myself get sidetracked and lose focus of my goals? Definitely!
As I stared at my list, I felt disappointed with myself. How could I fail and not even accomplish even half of my list? I found it was easy to make excuses for myself. I’m busy. I have a lot to do. Things just came up that pulled me away. I could say those things, but it still didn’t change the way I felt inside.
But then I asked myself a new question. Do those goals add true value and meaning to my life?
That question just became very difficult to answer.
For example, one of the goals on my list was to make more money. I realize more money is not something that brings true value and meaning to my life. So the next thought was if I made more money what would I do with it? I’m not one to want anything. I pretty much have what I want. I guess if I had more money I could use it to replace something if it broke. But currently, nothing is broken. So I guess that money would just sit in the bank. If it sat in the bank I guess it would be used for retirement. What will I do when I retire? I guess I would spend time with my wife. Now my answers were becoming more clear.
Making more money wouldn’t make me happy but having more money could free me from working so much. If I’m not working I can spend more time with my wife. That would be meaningful and bring real joy to my life. I then realized, instead of working more, I need to work “just enough.” Work just enough to pay my bills and work just enough to save a little bit for the future. But most of all, work just enough so I have more free time to be with the ones I love.
I’ve decided to rewrite my goals this year so each one, if accomplished, would make my life richer in meaning for myself and the others around me. It reminds me of the quote from Euripides. “Enough is abundance for the wise.”
Happy New Year everyone
Chad Stanton- Owner of Stanton Fine Furniture 12-28-2021