Jun 15, 2009

Why having goals is not sufficient: On 5 year anniversary

Recently, I marked my 5 year anniversary with the Firm. I'm not good at celebrating. It should have been a joyous occasion. Instead, it felt meaningless and empty. Still, I had lunch with a colleague with whom I had started work on the same day five years ago. That gave the anniversary a little purpose.

Five years here and I feel that I've learned little. Scratch that. I've learned quite a bit. What I've been unable to do is to market any of it. Today, I can no better go out into the Fortune 500 world and make something of myself than I could five years ago. At least outside of the accounting profession. Was it a waste?

No, but that's not the point. Don't look back. Just do something about it and move on.

I was driving back from Raleigh recently on westbound I-40. I had an epiphany. It's not enough having a goal. One thinks that by setting a goal, and working hard, that one can reach it and make something of oneself. I saw plainly before me that this is a fallacy. Just as I was blazing toward the sunset on the highway, I saw that there was an accident on the eastbound I-40; a big one. Traffic was backed up for miles upon miles. All four lanes full of smoldering cars, choking on each others' heat and exhaust and going nowhere. Wasting energy, burning fuel, frustrated, but not moving. Why were they on a highway? Because they had a goal. What was the goal? To get to the city. Fine example of pursuing a goal. And it's not enough to have a goal. How can one have a real vision that can overcome such obstacles? What can one do so that the path is more clear, more visible?

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