Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Jan 13, 2011
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. ” – John F. Kennedy, September 12th, 1962
I’ve been thinking about this quote a lot lately; I even used a portion of it in a comment response to Charles on my other blog a couple of weeks ago. It’s an interesting quote in more ways than one; I’d like to talk about it for a little bit.
Last week I put out my 2011 goals for his blog and this part of my career. On my business blog I put up some goals as well. On my finance blog, instead of putting up personal goals, I put up a list of financial goals that we as a people should be looking to attain for our own comfort and well being.
Kennedy’s long term goal was for the United States to get to the moon before 1970. If he hadn’t stated that, and if it hadn’t been put out there for all to see, I doubt it would have ever happened. I mean, there was so much other stuff going on in the world; wars, disease, famine… sound familiar? There have always been major distractions that had the potential of taking everyone away from this goal, yet the goal continued, and we got to the moon.
Last week I had a post on influence where I was responding to Chris Brogan. I’m not sure if you went to read his post, but something else he said there was this: “I never set out to be influential…” I found that interesting because I wondered just how many of us ever set out in our lives to be influential. I’m obviously shooting for that now, and I’ve stated it on more than one occasion, but what about early dreams?
I always wanted to be something. When I was a little kid I wanted to be a cowboy, which is odd because I don’t like cowboy movies. When I was a young teen I wanted to be an Air Force pilot. When I went to college I wanted to learn how to be a sports announcer. When I left college I wanted to be a songwriter.
Then for a decade and a half… nothing. My career path seemed to have been laid out and I decided to just try to be the best I could be doing what I was doing. I didn’t care to try anything else, and I didn’t want to do anything else. No dreams, no visions, no goals; just work on career.
That’s not such a bad life but in a weird way it’s just automatic. It doesn’t require thought. It’s not hard at all. Yeah, there are ups and downs along the way, but you realize that nothing really matters in the end; you just do your thing and move on. There’s little passion, there’s little motivation other than just ‘being’.
In 2001 I started dreaming; I went into business for myself. I started setting goals; some I hit, some I didn’t. I can tell you that my dreams and goals in 2001 are vastly different than they are now, and yet some of them are the same. Growth is a process, no matter whether it’s in a career or whether it’s blogging or writing or anything else.
I have a friend who says she wants to see changes now; well, things just don’t work that way. To me, they don’t work any way if you don’t know what it is you want to be when you grow up. And if you don’t make plans for how to get there when you grow up, then you’re going to just age, still not grow up, and wonder what happened.
What do you want to do and be when you grow up? If you’re already grown up, what are you and what do you do? I know what I want. I want Orson Welles to walk into my office right now, pull out the standard Rich and Famous Contract, and sign that baby (how many of you remember that reference?). But it’s not going to happen that way. I’m going to have to get it done on my own. This blog is a start; who wants to come along with me on the journey to MY moon? It’ll be okay; there’s room for everyone.