Ok let me start this by confessing; this blog post has nothing whatsoever to do with setting P. I just liked the sound of the title. So if you clicked on this hoping for a how to manual on how to finally get that girl you’ve been tripping for since January 2010…this might be the wrong blog post for you…
Let me continue by assuring you…this post does have to do with setting goals. However, it’s not a how to manual on how to set goals… (Is that somebody closing the page in disgust?). It is a little story sha, and one I hope you’ll enjoy and who knows, learn from.
Remember how I told you about my cleaning spree on Sunday? If you’ve forgotten or didn’t read it, familiarize yourself here. Anyway, as I was busily dusting and brushing, I came upon a spiral bound book. Now I enjoy finding spiral bound books in my room, because it’s usually a given that I wrote something in it and forgot about it, and I’m usually interested (and occasionally slightly alarmed), by the workings of my mind.
Anyway, I opened this book and came across a list. Not just any list o! An extensive list on my values, goals, rewards and so on and so forth, written 5 years ago! I actually remember the evening I wrote them; an ex boyfriend who happened to be a productivity consultant had asked me to come by with a notebook. I’d gone over, hopefully expecting to be told to write my Christmas wish list, and instead, dude asks me to write my values and goals and tins and tins. I remember how disappointed and slightly bored I had been, but looking at the page, I had written a comprehensive list of personal and career goals, rewards, etc etc.
3 things caught my attention about the list. First, I’ve always had big dreams – one of the goals was becoming a billionaire (no plan of how I intended to make this happen tho). Second, my dreams then are basically the same as they are now. Third, I had only accomplished about 3 or 4 of maybe 40 goals, and those totally by accident. I took to my bed in a haze of depression.
As I lay down in my bed and asked God whether I was a failure, He reminded me of some things that I’d like to share (finally, we get to the point of this long and winding story).
- As at when I wrote that list, I didn’t yet have a clear idea of what I wanted to be. Yes I had dreams and wishes, but they were not specific and indicated clearly that I did not yet know what I wanted. For instance, I’d written down that I would like to own 5 companies…no mention of what products or services they’d offer…just 5 companies.
- I wrote that list partly to impress my ex. I’d written down that I would read 1 self help book a month. I do not read self help books. I read fiction, articles and my Bible. I read Biographies, blog posts and editorials. I like to carry out tiny research projects on whatever strange topics happen to catch my fancy. What I do not do however, is read self help books. 2 pages before that list is another list where I wrote that I would read 1 good book a month. Good had been crossed out and replaced with self help.
- I wasn’t ready. And that’s the truth. Over the course of the last year, I have quite independently arrived at decisions to start some things and stop some others. All the things I’ve either started or plan to start are on my list of goals. I just wasn’t in the right place and it wasn’t the right time.
- I got to do some things that weren’t on my list. I moved to another place and lived there for 2 years (yes it was only Lagos, nevertheless, I moved), I got to be part of a reality show (something I’ve always wanted but never imagined I’d get an opportunity to do), I got to attend red carpet events and meet and hang out with some of the biggest names in Nigerian entertainment. These were all things I never thought I’d get to do and believe me; they were all lots of fun.
- Now, I can arrange that list to properly reflect not only who I am, but who I see myself becoming. My career and personal plans, my personal rewards, my obligations – they will all better reflect me, because I have a better idea now of who I am and what I want out of life.
There have been so many changes in my life. My plan as an undergraduate was to get my PhD by 26. Looking back now, I’m glad I didn’t. I have no long term interest in the course I studied, and it would’ve been very difficult to change my career path after spending millions on a Masters and PhD.
So if you’re worried or depressed that life is nothing like you planned, can I use this very roundabout story to reassure you? You’re not a failure, you haven’t messed up. Goals and plans change. People change. Those twists and turns in the road were necessary to make you the person you are today. They are the things that will give your life its flavour. I can say for a fact that this has been true for me. With the extra experiences, you can go back to the drawing board, edit your plans, and then go ahead to make life happen. God bless.