Grand Canyon Deep Questions and Other Fun Parlor Games

Is it Monday again…already?

How the heck did that happen so soon?

Well, we can’t let this day go by without first looking back at the last Kuhnspiration challenge question posed and chiming in with some thoughts. Did you get a chance to contemplate the somewhat unexpected life-choice question that was posed to me not too long ago by an old friend?

Specifically, I asked…

At what point in your life is it necessary to re-examine and potentially reset original goals and dreams for your ideal life – professionally and personally? What criteria would you use to assess and how would you establish new goals and dreams differently to ensure a greater success rate for achieving?

What are your thoughts on the subject? As for me, I think whenever you have any major life changes come into play, you have no choice but to take a second look at your life and all of the people and moving parts around you. For example, I may have envisioned particular goals and directions in mind when I was serving as editor of a local women’s publication but the moment I was let go, I froze that other list out in space and filed it under the “look at this later” category. My big goal then was to figure out what the hell to do with my time, how to make the best use of my skills and my passions as a writer and oh yes, that other important element – how to pay my bills!

If, for example, we had been considering a big purchase, that certainly would have been put on hold tentatively until we had a better idea of what our financial future might look like. If we were thinking about having a baby or adopting a new rescue dog or even selling or buying a new home, all of these decisions were now going to be impacted by one single event – getting RIFed.

So while I don’t believe there’s a particular deadline, expiration date or age that you need to re-examine your goals or wants out of life, perhaps you should take stock in how your life has changed every year – around the same time is good. I don’t suggest New Year’s  because most of us feel guilty for spending too much or eating too much, or we are far too idealistic about what we can achieve without really examining the incremental steps to get there. We just can’t wait for New Year’s Day to arrive so we can start tackling our Mt. McKinley-sized challenges and Grand Canyon-deep voids in our life. We do lose some perspective in the process. I blame it on the high level of sugar in the bloodstream at that time of year.

Damn. That’s deep.

Nope. Not a good time to do this.

You know what time of year I like? Spring. Spring is a lovely time of year. The weather’s nice in most parts of the country, the birds and animals are crawling out to take a peek at the new flowers, trees and other greenery. It’s just an inviting and envigorating time of year to begin again so why not use it to assess what you’ve got and what you’re doing, and whether or not it fulfills you personally and professionally?

Things change far too often and too quickly today as opposed to ten years ago or twenty years ago, so I don’t believe you can live under a blanket of your old goals you set when you got out of college whether you’re now 25, 45 or 65. Look at what just happened in the northeast and the many people’s lives who will be permanently changed because of Hurricane Sandy. They awoke a few days earlier most likely with a completely different set of goals, wants, desires and needs than they are waking up with today. It’s heartwrenching to watch people who knew exactly what they wanted in life and in some cases, may have already achieved it and were retired and enjoying the rewards of their hard work, and now they are looking for a soft, dry place to rest their head, a building they can be safe to stay for awhile and have power and security for their loved ones and their now treasured remaining belongings. It’s unbelievable when you realize just how many lives were completely turned upside down in a matter of hours.

So what criteria do you use when you are facing a life change and want to reassess your goals? Or maybe you are implementing a new annual tradition of taking a closer look at your current circumstances and deciding whether your objectives, wants and desires are still what they were before or could be slightly different? Maybe you’re going to need to set completely different goals altogether?

My gauge is a pretty simple one. Happiness. For some people, it’s a bank statement or assets and liabilities record. For others, it’s a checkist of accomplishments, honors, places visited, things done, people met, etc. For me, it’s happiness. If an area of my life that I once was happy with doesn’t feel right anymore – maybe there’s new stress there or physical discomfort or ailments, new people in the picture, new technology driving me batty, whatever – then this is an area I need to re-examine and then decide what needs to change for me to be happy again.

C-o-n-t-e-n-t.

For me during these past three-plus years, this word has always been about emphasis on the first syllable. CONtent. Because that’s what I do – I produce content – and like a lot of other people out there typing away in the world, my world revolves around that content and what happens to it later.

But what about conTENT. I don’t think about whether or not I’m conTENT in my life much these days. That’s the best measuring stick to help you determine if your existing goals still fall in line with what matters most to you. How conTENT are you, yes, emphasis on syllable #2?

Have you asked yourself that lately? Maybe you should.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what timeframe you think is good for going back and re-assessing goals, wants and desires, and what criteria you plan to use.

And as always, thanks for reading.

Cheers to finding that daily spark in your life!
~ Chris

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