Sunday, December 15, 2013

And Now For Something Completely Different

Goals should never be easy, they should force you to work. Michael Phelps.

One of the ways in which Doug and I are different, apart from the immediately obvious, like he stands up to take a leak and I don't (at least not usually), is that Doug often articulates his goals, while I keep mine silent. I could claim that this is because I don't want to fall into the trap of “symbolic self-completion” (Google it) but I often think it is really because I don't want to be held accountable when I fail miserably. After all, if I haven't announced my goals, no-one will know that I haven't come closer than a lizards underbelly to achieving them. 

Just your usual pretty picture meant to be motivational,
Selkirk Mountains, BC, Canada 

If past behavior is a good predictor of future behavior (which it is), I could not articulate my goals, fail to reach them, and, with no written record and no-one to remind me, I could walk away feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Sounds ideal really. Or, maybe not. Maybe it is time to try something different. After all, I've written myself about how more of the same usually doesn't help. So, now for something completely different my goals for the summer in Cairns:
  1. Climb the roof at the Cairns Esplanade bouldering area;
  2. Get strong as measured by a 50 kg back squat and a 70 kg deadlift.
  3. Develop a semi-reliable, that is four times out of five, eskimo roll in my sea kayak.
What is really apparent about these goals is how ego-centric they are. These are clearly the goals of a financially stable, white, middle-aged person who doesn't have too much of anything to worry about. Were I black, poor, or from any other religious, ethnic or sexual minority, I suspect I would have very different goals; if, in fact, I had any energy left after battling bigotry and prejudice to have any goals. 

Dom cranking the roof on Monkey Bars,
Bangor, NSW

Perhaps I should add one more goal, to be thankful each day that I am lucky enough to have the wit, the resources and the opportunity to even contemplate the prospect of doing more than just staying alive.

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