“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau
I think one of the best things any one has told me is to stop expecting life to happen as I imagine it will. Math teaches us that A plus B equals C (at least that’s what I, a fairly strong B- student, remember about basic math). In life, it is not A plus B that equals C. Often it is A plus F plus T plus B that eventually makes us realize why we didn’t go straight to C.
If you have a goal you should pursue that wholeheartedly. If you reach “T” in your equation and realize that your goal has grown with you and looks differently now, that’s okay. You should pursue your next goal wholeheartedly. It is not a failure to realize you were on a path on which you no longer want to be. It is not a failure if you don’t solve the equation before you reach a certain age.
Society tells us that we have to have it all figured out by the time we are 30. We have to have our perfect job, with our fully functioning family units, and be living the dream. That does not have to be your story. You may not accomplish all of your goals and that’s okay! You may have to focus so hard on one goal that another goal falls to the back burner for a while. That’s okay too.
Life is not a math equation. There is not perfect formula you have to follow and no one answer you have to find. It is comforting to me to know that I don’t have to solve the problem by a certain time. It is comforting to me to know that I am not a mistake because my life has looked like A plus S plus P plus Q plus B. It is okay that I haven’t solved the equation because I am still living. I have time to reach my goals, or change my goals, or reach one of them but not the other. I have time to fail and realize that it’s okay.
You have time too. I hope you know that it is not a failure to find another goal and pursue that passionately. I hope you know that it is okay to spend so much of your time working toward one goal that another suffers. I hope you know that your life doesn’t have to look like your neighbors – it won’t. I hope you have the courage to pursue your goals.