Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chaos, confusion, and adversity

For years I have fought against numerous factors that have kept me from making any progress in my life.  Inertia being a big one.  It is very easy to sit and wait for things to happen.  It can even happen slowly over time while your not watching.  I have always been a very goal driven person but have slowly but surely allowed my goal driven nature to be put on the sideline because I didn't feel my goals were fair or reasonable. 

"So, what the heck are you talk about?" you say?

A short list of some of the life goals I wanted to achieve from my bucket list:
  • Achieve a 3rd degree black belt in some martial arts.  (Passed and surpassed as I now hold a 5th degree in Aikijutsu and am working on my 4th degree in Shotokan Karate)
  • Get a college degree (Got it.  I have an MIS degree from NSU here in Oklahoma)
  • Get a good paying job (Got it.  I work as an IT person for a major hospital in Tulsa)
  • Have a family (Got this one too.  I have two incredible kids.  This one also counts in the fail column but I will explain later)
  • Nice car (Never really been much on cars but I like my Mazda CX-7, the first car I have ever owned that I really wanted.)
  • Go on a big vacation (went to Seattle, it was wonderful.  Some minor setbacks but great all in all)
Now, as you can see I have a good list of goals that I have accomplished.  And that is not all of them but these are some of the more important goals to me.  The catch is that I also have a list of failures that bothers me a great deal.  Now I am working on seeing my failures as opportunities to learn but it is hard when you have allowed yourself to be mired down in them. 

Failures:
  • Don't live paycheck to paycheck (yep, I suck at managing money.  I am behind on some of my bills and have WAY over committed myself to projects, repairs, trips, etc...)
  • Divorce (I don't believe in divorce.  Frankly I would rather work through and suffer than ever give up.  Stubborn? perhaps but I just don't like divorce.  It is very rarely a good answer to a problem.  However, it does me no good at all to not believe in this if my partner does.  Hence, my divorce.  Oh well.)
  • Raise my kids (I am very active in my kids lives.  They stay with me half the time.  Two days with me then two with mom and alternating weekends.  It is not the best arrangement but it works well enough for now.)
  • Lose weight (yup, when I am stressed I eat.  I am constantly sabotaging my success in weight loss with midnight snacks.  Is this a matter of self-disciple?  I don't know but it is a psychological and I am not fixing very well.)
Now to be fair there are also things that I am working on to improve my situation:
  • Get my PI license (this gets me a new career and hopefully away from working with computers as an IT person.  I want this a lot!)
  • Slowly getting my house clean.  (I have a lot of things bagged up but need more hours in the day and a lot more determination to get it done.)
  • Read books (I have tons of books to read and review, tons!)
  • Write my book (I have heard that everyone has a book in them.  Most just don't let it out.  I want to get mine out.  In fact, I have a plan to write three of them for sure.)
  • Post on my blog (I like posting here as much as possible because it makes me get my thoughts out on paper.  Very important for me right now because I have come up with some great revelations.)
The best analogy I can think of right now is that of a motor boat.  Engage the engine and the boat gathers speed.  You will feel the waves but at speed they are not quite so bad.  However, if you don't make sure the engines stay engaged you begin to slow.  Become subject to resistance and inertia.  Life is full of things like this...hardship, heart ache, pain, sickness.  These things and much more offer a myriad of obstacles to block our progress.  If we are not vigilant while at the controls, if we are not prepared to fight through the adversity the boat slows and drifts.  Perhaps even away from our goals.

To make matters worse I find myself also doing too many things are once to be able to make the progress I want.  To continue the analogy, I am still steering the boat.  But now I am also checking the radio, talking to friends, looking at the fish finder or a radar, etc....  If I am not careful I can't pay attention to my route or goals.  Seems like I speed off into the rocks on a pretty regular basis.

How do we fix this?  How do we get to our goals when we are overwhelmed?  Well, I am going to start by enlisting help.  Then I am going to reorganize my goal lists of the past.  I am going to schedule things that help me make progress and remove things that might become obstacles.

One big thing I think needs to be used is the SMART plan for goal management.  If you don't already know what that is I will post something on it soon.  Keep an eye out for it.

Off to teach classes.