Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Someday I Will

I wrote Schemes and Dreams to describe the internal struggle in my head between the go-getter goal-driven me and the laid-back live-life-as-it-comes me. At the time I was thinking that I really ought to shake myself out of my midwinter lethargy and set some sailing goals for the year. I desperately wanted to be the go-getter and work out what I needed to do to sail fast; but the slacker in me just wanted to live slow.

Those two guys have been arguing for the last six weeks. I've been thinking of some very specific sailing goals at both national and local levels, and some running goals. But then I came across this website on Goal-Free Living. The author Stephen Shapiro argues that our society's emphasis on goals is actually detrimental to our enjoyment of life.

We are taught from a young age that in order to achieve great success we must set and achieve our goals. However in doing so, we become focused on where we are going rather than enjoying where we are right now. We sacrifice today in the hope that a better future will emerge, only to discover that achievement rarely leads to true joy. Goal-Free Living presents an alternative philosophy - that we can have an extraordinary life now, all without goals and detailed plans. By living for each moment, it's possible to have a successful life and follow your passions at the same time.

Shapiro recommends choosing a broad, expansive, empowering theme for the year to guide your life rather than specific measurable goals. And he advises being open to new possibilities and new directions. He seems to believe that sticking to goals you set for yourself can be constricting, even writes of the "tyranny of goals".

He asked his readers to share their "themes" for the year. Here are some of the responses...


curiosity and adventure

live more like a hedgehog

clowning myself

surprise me

So what do you think? Is this just fuzzy new-age feel-good psycho-babble? Or is he on to something?

Do you have sailing goals? Or if you went down the Shapiro route what would your theme be?

I wonder what my theme would be? Perhaps it has been staring me in the face on the title bar of this blog all year?


Litoralis said...

My sailing goal based on Shapiro's technique is to: "sail like a dolphin".

Anonymous said...

with your head under water making clicking noises?

Litoralis said...

No, making it look easy and having fun.

Anonymous said...

My sailing goal for this year is to learn how to trapese at the same time as using a spinnaker (not the asymetric spinnakers, the traditional spinnakers and maybe when I have achieved that then I will try with the asymetric spinnakers. However I have a feeling that trapesing with the traditional spinnaker will be a lot harder than with an aysemmetric- but maybe not as I haven't tried it yet!)I can trapese and I can fly both traditional and asymetric spinnakers, however I have never tried both at the same time so this is why it is my goal. Luckily a man at my club has a 470 and I will be crewing with him when not crewing with my regular helm in the GP14.

I am not obsessed with my goal and really it isn't a goal it is just the next step in sailing for me. So if I don't achieve it this year then so be it, I won't be too bothered because I have plenty of time to achieve it!

Claire (England)

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