Why bother?

Three years ago I decided to start each new year with goals that challenged me in my career, fitness and spiritual growth.  While I’ve been proud to share the successes, I have NOT reached every goal.  I have fallen short, taken long detours and even reversed direction.  So why continue to write down goals if they are just going to change? It’s fair to ask, “Why bother?”

To me, the thinking process matters more than the checklist list you tack on your bulletin board.  Sitting down to reflect on what you’ve done and planning how to get to the next level is a healthy exercise.  I even deliberate carefully on what I’m NOT going to do as well as what I AM going to do.  Either way, I am not sitting still.

You’ve probably heard that the key to effective goal setting is to make them measurable. For example, saying “I’m going to be healthier in 2012” is not a measurable goal. Saying “I will lose 10 pounds by a certain date” or “I will run a half marathon in under 2 hours” are specific measurable goals. You will know for sure if you do them or not, and when.

Setting spiritual goals is a bit trickier. How do you measure something so abstract? My thought process at the end of this year has brought me to this.  Many times in my life I have set goals for “taking” – earning more money, getting more stuff, etc. This year I’m setting measurable goals for giving … donating time and money that will help improve the lives of others.  I will only make the fundraising goals public.  The rest I will do for their own sake.

As you think about your resolutions or goals for 2012, I challenge you to reserve some space for giving too. If you are unable to give money, give your time.  Every little gift adds up… and that’s why we should bother.

Explore posts in the same categories: Motivation

6 Comments on “Why bother?”

  1. Great blog and points as always, David. And I love the title… ‘Why Bother?’ I think it’s important we ask ourselves that very question and ponder the answers. I think the answers are just as important as the question.

    And a good question is .. “How do you wish to show up in life?”
    Just as much as “What does life mean to you?” And “What has meaning for you?”

    If we can answer these questions – we get more clarity on ‘Why Bother?’

    For me, the answer is about showing up as your best self. Sometimes we lose ourselves in day-to-day living. Sometimes we self-destruct from stress and pressures – beit self-imposed or those we take on out of obligation, responsibility and things we’ve committed to.

    But if we take and shift the focus to ‘showing up as our best selves’ we will soon find our voice within. We will soon find – we can be better at being citizens of our community, being of service to others and also becoming more involved in humanitarian and philanthropic causes.

    With that said, we can also focus on just being better humans. How we show up in life can make a big impact in how we support those near and dear to us, who sometimes get neglected when we also lose perspective on what matters in life in the day-to-day things. We put focus on things sometimes that don’t matter, rather than things that do. And this is how we lose our actual life path footing…… people hit walls and put priorities on the material worth, rather than self-improvement worth – for the bettering of themselves so they can in turn be of better service to others to give back.

    It’s a whole process. But one that is very necessary to examine when we choose to set goals and be realistic about the purpose. In order to focus and apply direction to evolve, we must take the time to reflect and become more introspective in the process.

    It’s just my opinion, but I feel that this is a confrontational process for a lot of people and it is uncomfortable for them to step out of their own comfort zone to do so. There are lots of reasons and people keep blaming the ‘lack of time’ to be the cause… “there just isn’t enough time.”

    Then the question now becomes……..”Well, when will there ever be enough time?”

    The answer is, there isn’t — unless you make time.

    Making time to make things happen, make things change is taking pro-active responsibility in how we show up in life.

    And this could be a hefty goal or resolution to take on, but one that I think is beneficial for the bigger picture of life and one that is worth trying for again and again and again.

    Happy New Year!

  2. joe franklin Says:

    Well said David! Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes attributed to Winston Chuchill: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by whatyou give.”

  3. Roland Takaoka Says:

    It is remarkable that your focus is on this subject Dave… for me, anyway. This is the year I too have focused on the start of true giving in my life. The result is something I and some others have dubbed “Our Giving Wheel.” It will be a network of sites that all connect to a central “hub” called “WhatIsThePositive.Com.” The “spokes” of the wheel are all professionals in their fields who will comment on blogs and bb’s regarding looking at things in positive fashion, and also giving some free advice that may help people adjust their outlooks on their own situations. Each “spoke” is also giving in their own way – our nutritionist with free group talks on eating right; our physical therapist leading exercise and stretch therapy sessions, as well as hand-drumming and dance; “GoCyrano” will focus on encouraging people to “send the message of love…” ; and “Reverend Roland” guiding inner visions on relationship building and the concept of marriage. There are severa other “spokes” in the wheel, and I plan on having a solid dozen by the end of 2012.

    We, of the “Wheel,” are in agreement that we truly can only work on ourselves in this world, BE the best examples that we can, as Stacy says, and be a guiding light in the darkness.

    We are not encouraging New Year’s Resolutions. We are encouraging Life Solutions. Resolutions implies that we have fallen short in our efforts to be what we, and others, “think” we should be… instead of discovering who we ARE. So, our group study, which we call “Second Sundays Gathering,” is focused on self discovery. The reason for this is that when people “discover” something of significance, it tends to adjust how we relate to other things in the world. Hence, discovering about the self changes EVERYTHING we think and EVERYTHING we do, because the conviction of “knowing” changes the way we relate to all. Once one knows how one “feels” about things, the action, or reaction, or response starts becoming automatic.

    …also, the giving becomes automatic. Finding one’s self is the growth process that expands our lives into giving, with love and light. Not just knowing, but doing.This is what is meant by “let your light shine.”

    Jesus, along with many other higher consciousnesses, commanded us to “Shine!”

    This, in our estimation, is the spiritual of which you speak.

    So, we are not proponents of looking at our failures, fessing up, and trying to correct the problems. We are not trying to “re-solve” anything. We are striving to Be who we ARE. We are striving to adjust our life’s courses. When the enlightenment brings enough light on the subject, we find that we are enough, we have enough, and right now, we can make a difference… not later when we have enough money in the bank and our mortgage is mostly paid… but NOW.

    Ludicrous that many people refer to these holidays as the “season of giving.” Giving is a way of life. It should not be a periodic season during the course of a year, but a way that we live, constantly.

    So, in this, I appreciate what you are focusing on with this article. I have just made the same adjustment in my life.

    Interesting how all paths in life lead to the same truths. :o)

    We are all each examples of this law among the highest of laws.

    Thanks for the inspiration, and the confirmation.


  4. Ah, what a fine comment, post, Roland! I concur with everything here.

    I loved what you said about how ludicrous it is that many people refer to these holidays as the ‘Season of Giving.’ You are right on, in saying GIVING is a way of life. Otherwise, there is no purpose in life. We are all meant to be here to give and share and help our sisters and brothers on this planet. This is how we live in harmony and make existence meaningful.

    But this is the problem I have with a lot of commercialized holidays on the calendar.

    For example, Valentine’s Day should NOT be the only day we show and express love. Thanksgiving should NOT be the only day we show and express gratitude. It’s nice that we have holidays to ‘remind’ the unconscious, but isn’t it sad that people have to be reminded? I mean really. Shouldn’t we all be GIVING, LOVING, LIVING BEINGS OF GRATITUDE FOR OUR BLESSINGS?

    All of these things should be exercised daily. With it, we’d have a better world if we did.

    THANK YOU for all your fine points! I like reading your comment posts as much as I enjoy reading all of David’s blogs!


  5. Kim @ Says:

    Strangely enough, I recently wrote a post about “perfectionism.” I’ve decided that any time I’ve tried to measure and define perfect, I’ve fallen short. Instead, I’ve realized that if I live life as it comes, authentically and with trust that things will happen as they should, my life is as close to perfect as it has ever been.

    I am a strong believer in putting my time and energy where I feel it’s needed, whether to a nonprofit for which I volunteer or a friend who needs help. I recently did some work for friends who each wanted to pay me for my time. Both were somewhat stunned when I asked them them to “pay it forward” instead. But I know they will reach out to someone who needs their particular skills at a crucial time.

    Sometimes the best goals are the simple ones, just as the best gift you can give is a kind word. I’ve often made it my day’s goal to say something funny or kind to someone who is obviously having a bad day. When I’ve been the recipient, it’s been enough to knock me out of my negative groove and jump the track knowing that I can restart my day any time I please.

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