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Monday, November 26, 2012

The Limitations of Convictions and Agendas

There is much emphasis and accompanying literature on the art and practice of goal setting. Today I want to emphasize the artistic nature of goal setting—for often the wisest course diverts us from our most strongly held agendas and convictions, and it is only right and proper that it does so.

Some years ago when I started this blog I set a firm goal—to submit blogs daily or virtually so. I did this faithfully even when away from home on vacations accessing the internet from wherever I happened to be—be it the Atlantic coast of Florida or the mountains of north Georgia. Then from mid-October to mid-November of this year my wife became deathly ill. Suddenly my days seemed to have no moorings of any type—certainly no tranquil spots of time for writing blogs. So I stopped writing them regularly. Yet I view this breach of set plans not only proper but profoundly right. It would have been wrong of me and indicative of obsessive addiction to regime had I continued to blithely maintain the practice despite current realities.

The same sorts of things happens to millions of people daily. Whether it means the plans of the day must be set aside, or the plans of a lifetime—even those plans held firmly with conviction. I, of course, take a male point of view in this. How many men “footloose and fancy free” have found themselves a few years after marriage deep in family responsibilities filled with new commitments that completely derail once cherished old ones and their associated dreams? Yet, this apparent failure to follow through will prove to be the wisest and most rewarding thing the man has ever or will ever do.

Thus, the art of goal setting requires that we hold the exigencies of love (and God's will) more valuable than the accumulation of Pyrrhic victories and their vast array of hollow trophies. Often the right impulse is a hundred times more valuable and effective than a firmly set plan or a closely held conviction.

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