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The goal to be striving for

OK, for quite a long time, without really even thinking about it consciously all that much, I've considered "feeling contented most of the time" to be an important goal.

Some people think of cows when they see that word, but for me getting to contentment isn't particularly simplistic or passive or easy.

I have managed to balance there for periods of time, even rather long ones.

But right now I'm not even close. And I've been upset with myself over that. But suddenly it occurred to me to wonder whether perhaps contentment shouldn't be one of my goals any more.

I'm not sure what should take its place or how to make the change to other goals, but I'm finding it an interesting notion, and kind of weird that I haven't put it into words before.

What is an important goal you're striving for and why?


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 3rd, 2002 11:41 pm (UTC)
I've given up goals. Hell, I've given up striving. (I was about to qualify that, then decided that I didn't have a qualification.) Mostly, I guess, I have given up expectations. I don't think I have ever felt successful in terms of goal accomplishment. There always seemed to be more to do. I mostly felt like a failure. I have never felt comfortable "going for the gold." I don't even want to go for the bronze. I think I'm too much a hedonist and too little a perfectionist. :) I know that I'm not competetive. Used to beat myself up that I wasn't.

So here's what's happening in my life AFTER giving up goals:

I'm living in a poly household that is influenced by my phiolosophy about love and life. They think I'm great. :) 'Course, I think they are great, too.

I've started a business along with some friends, Ngender Consulting Group, that has two (so far) focuses. One focus is technological. Linux and language training, PostgreSQL/web design and a few other cats and dogs. The other focus is on personal transformation. Personal/relationship coaching, workshops and seminars.

I've dumped a 45-yr-old converstation that I can't make music. (A failed goal from my youth.) I've bought a decent electronic keyboard and made a deal with a piano teacher for lessons. (Inspired Aeire to consider guitar/keyboard lessons, too.) I even have some favorite music picked out and sheet music purchased. (In the Hall of the Mountain King, Holly Near, Enya and Jesus Christ Superstar -- interesting mix, no?)

I've given up a converstation about not liking crowds and parties. Whee. Through me to the people.

Love is all around, in and through me. I have a few preferences about how I'd like it expressed, but I'll leave the expectations behind there, too.

Love and Light

Jul. 4th, 2002 03:11 pm (UTC)
I can relate to the music and people bits. A few months ago I found myself writing songs for almost the first time. And also found myself not only accidentally enjoying but also actively wanting to attend group social events. Interesting how an old primate can teach herself new tricks.
Jul. 5th, 2002 07:11 pm (UTC)
I've given up goals. Hell, I've given up striving.

*grin*. i gave up goals a long time ago, before the depression, because they didn't work for me at all, they made me feel like crap. that was one of the best decisions i made back then, i still think. i had all sorts of goals that weren't even truly mine, and they were all very demanding and long-term.

but i've never given up striving. that may sound paradoxical, but i am enormously curious, and i love learning new things, and that's mostly what the striving is associated with. it didn't use to feel effortful, but the depression changed that. i am basically striving to do well in whatever endeavour catches my interest, and to learn lots about it, enough to not make really dumbass mistakes.

therein lies contentment for me. and it's actually hard for me to stop there, to not push for "fulfilling my potential", but whenever i go down that road i end up splattered all over the pavement because i am not good enough. i keep worrying that since i stop myself from doing this that i'll just end up a bum some day, without even noticing. so, contentment is pretty darn nice for me; it's the time when i am not worried about either, and just doing things that want to be done, and do them well.

hey, lynn, i am really glad to hear your life is going so well! i'll see you over in your journal.

Jul. 4th, 2002 04:02 am (UTC)
I am hoping to achieve contentment in middle age. Currently I'm doing what I can to make that real. Meantime, I seem to drift along doing little bits of things.

Um, contentment in middle age.
Babies, children, teenagers, headaches.
Happy cats.
Wedding, marriage, happy Rob. That's only become a goal since I met Rob though.
Finding a way to live life without feeling tired all the time. Achieving free time.
Jul. 4th, 2002 03:12 pm (UTC)
Finding a way to live life without feeling tired all the time. Achieving free time.

I've always felt those were important. I think I've given up on the first one, though. Lately it's been more often "Accepting that I feel tired a lot without resenting so much that I can't do as much as some other people."
Jul. 4th, 2002 04:04 am (UTC)
Peace. My goal is not spend my life being stressed out. I know alot of people at work think that I've reached that goal, but that's just externally :) Internally, I find that doing deep abdominal breathing helps regain that sense of peace. Then I can move on to deal with the issue at hand.

I don't have to go it alone, though. My husband and I are in counceling to get a more cohesive parenting style. We used to be on the same page, but since our son was diagnosed with ADHD we've moved in different directions about how to deal with it. That has been a big help, and I'm only sorry I didn't ask for help earlier :)

So maybe my real goals are peace and learning to ask for help :)
Jul. 4th, 2002 03:14 pm (UTC)
Having a sudden parenting disagreeing must really be nervewracking. I hope the counseling works out for you.
Jul. 4th, 2002 08:21 am (UTC)
Just feeling actually happy for five minutes.

I'm not trying very hard, though. I mean, once that's accomplished, I'll have achieved all my goals and will have nothing to live for. :-o
Jul. 4th, 2002 03:15 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah, I guess that's kind of where I was at recently. I got bored with being contented. But now I'm not contented, and I don't want to be here, but I also don't think I'd be contented with just being contented any more...argh.
Jul. 4th, 2002 11:54 am (UTC)
how do you define contentment?

I think for me, its still about trying to become the best person / me that I can become. To live life as fully and deeply as possible. To accept the pain and revel in pleasure. To not be a couch potatoe. To keep growing, learning, expanding.

Sometimes I dont do any of those things. Sometimes I'm a bear in a cave. But that's ok too.

I think I'm the most content when I'm "here, now"

(riding motorcycles helps. working out helps. looking at my violin since I still havent bought new strings for it helps. :))

Jul. 4th, 2002 03:20 pm (UTC)
Re: goals?
I define contentment as a state where I think "there's nothing I would change about this moment."
So it's definitely a "here now" thing.

For me, contentment and best/fully/deeply have tended not to go together very often. I have definite couch potato tendencies. (Which in a more charitable mood I would call tendencies toward simplifying.) I do like learning and expanding, but not necessarily in what might generally be called high-quality, soul-affirming ways. (I don't consider learning a new computer game to be soul-affirming, even though it is learning.)

I recently had the experience of being singlemindedly devoted to one goal. And while that was happening, contentment and living fully/deeply were the same thing. But that ended, and I haven't found something to replace it. And it came out of nowhere, so I don't know where to go to find another one.
Jul. 5th, 2002 10:12 am (UTC)
Well, I'm not striving really. I'm poking cautiously, then moving slowly. I am mostly happy like this, but I feel like other people expect more of me.
Jul. 7th, 2002 01:03 pm (UTC)
I'm relatively sure most experiences/feelings fall into a couple of categories ... knowledge and fun/pleasure.

And .... in recent times in the past, I was developing values, goals, boundaries and tasks for myself, albeit not healthy ones. Then, at some point in the middle drastic changes happened and I found I had somehow dropped my all my defenses and they were being carried away like water running down a hill. When I woke up, I found myself in a place I didn't know, empty and battered, but still breathing knowing I won't survive unless I nourish and care for myself alone.

So I'm striving to love and nourish myself first, creating my own safety and value always and be like the water rushing down an every changing path that has no destination and no end.

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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