Innocent bystander suggested an examination of the emotion of envy as a clear route to goal setting.
I was slightly suspicious of this suggestion at first and realised that my well trained Catholic guilt (there is an Albatross to ones development if ever there was one) automatically dissuaded me from an constructive entertainment of this ‘sin’ well it might be a ‘sin’ in heaven but it is an emotion on earth.
The other barrier was my own commitment to ‘positive thinking’ or PMA, nearly all my life I have focused on keeping positive. One consistent affirmation I have received from people school to the workplace has been on my sunny disposition.
One ‘faux pax’ of positive thinking is it can sometimes drift into denial, lucky I have never fallen prey to this… (Cough)!
Many times I have sat down and written out goals with varying degrees of success, key achievements have been quitting smoking, running marathons and falling in love with a Super Cool Wife. Key missed goals have been multi millionaire by the age of 30 (in spite of several near misses) and learning Spanish to a high academic standard.
I have always subscribed to being at least attempt being realistic and have an unwavering distain for people being herded into rooms and under the illusion of being taught how to ‘manifest their lives into a goal’ preferring instead, arguably more capitalist and commercial adage – ‘just do it!’ Juxtaposition this with ‘you can’t make an omelette without breaking an egg’ and you have the perfect ‘goal tonic’.
Whether or not I achieved the goal there was always the reward of learning, self actualization and working out if the goal was really for me. Writing a list of envy points produced one of the most alarmingly concise ‘to do’ lists I have owned in my life.
So to envy. I went to work on this emotion and looked at my closest friends & colleagues to see what incited envy in me. Being tall, red haired and Welsh? Nope I was ok as I am. Having long blonde hair and lots of shoes? Nope I like my Seth Godin / Moby look.
Now here is the kick, all of the things I ‘envy’ in other people are in fact within my reach or learnable. They range from knowing how to use those deep uncharted depths of Outlook that only highly skilled PA’s know, to learning Spanish so I can argue proficiently with Super Cool Wife in her native tongue. Of course there is the financial security one in there too, I am more than a tad envious of my square friends that always drank diet coke, did not come to Ibiza or V festival at the end of the last century, always opted for the last train home over a cab and never got a credit card.
I sleep at night knowing you are all going to be subject to a midlife crisis much earlier than I am – anyhow everyone knows you can’t take it with you!