Saturday, January 8, 2011

0 Looking Beyond Our Goals & Ourselves For The New Year


With the start of a new year, most of us typically get very contemplative around New Year's, whether we're thinking about our running goals or our goals in general. We take inventory of everything that happened over the past year & think about the people who were part of that year. We ponder our actions & interactions, our accomplishments & failures, as well as the goals that we have yet to check off our lists. It's like hitting the fast rewind button on the "remote control" of our lives. :)

Well, in truth, a lot of people probably don't get into this year-end soul-searching mode until after New Year's Eve. ;) After all, it's hard to be introspective when you're trying to recover from a hangover. LOL.

Of course, those who are wise will wait until they are in a constructive, (sober!), & forwarding-thinking frame of mind before doing this exercise in self-analysis. ;) And those who are not so wise will hopefully (!) soon discover that verbal self-immolation is not only unhelpful to the person indulging in the behavior but is also unhelpful to anyone else around them within a 500-foot listening range. ;)

Now is not the time to get stuck in past, stew in our own juices, or throw a pity party for ourselves. Nor is it the time to scrap all our previous goals in favor of shiny, brand new ones, or to do something impulsive or rash. 

New Year's is a time to reflect upon where we were (both in concrete & abstract senses of the word) & what we did, so that we can then focus on where we want to go. :) That way, we can put all of our year-end reflections into good use for the upcoming year. 

Sometimes all of the focus we put into these speculative activities can take us rather deep into the rabbit-hole, so to speak. But the point is to re-emerge from our New Year's cocoons, feeling renewed, with a quiet resolve to get stuff done.

We are perpetual works in progress -- unstrained, asymetrical pieces of clay, which shouldn't be hastily discarded in favor of a smooth, uncarved block of stone. Clay is pliable, & this is exactly is how we need to be when we approach our goals for the new year. After all, we might have to readjust our goals slightly as we factor in new variables, taking into consideration our current situations & the things that might have changed in our lives since we last formulated (or re-formulated) our goals. And that's OK. If we accept that as part of life, we will be all the better for it. To quote an ancient Chinese proverb: "The tree that does not bend with the wind will be broken by the wind."  Or, as Bruce Lee once said, "All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns." Very wise words, indeed.

And hopefully conjoined with this flexible mindset is an openness to not only envision new pathways to our goals but also to see beyond and outside of ourselves. Let us not forget that we are community of runners. And even though we runners tend to be a competitive lot, that doesn't mean that we can't work on ways in which we can come together & help each other. Generosity of spirit fosters an impetus to not only return it but also to give it to others without expecting anything back.

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