Friday, January 17, 2014
Using Your Loftiest Goals to Guide Your Career
My good pal C. S. Lewis said "If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world," and all these amazing things make me feel exactly that. I think art and beauty at its truest form gives us a glimpse into the something greater out there.
This means that I just get really overly excited about so many things and want to do ALL OF THEM. I want to have books published, of course, and I also want to make movies and write an article for National Geographic and make a CD and maybe give a TED Talk. (In other words, I want to be Amy Tan, who has done all of those things.)
I think we all have dream-world goals like that. We all have things that just sound so incredible that we would love to accomplish, but it seems like those things are made for people other than us; that we can still do our own cool things, but those goals are just too unreachable. The leap between our current standing and that lofty peak is just too far.
But here's the thing. What if it isn't a leap? What if it's a hike?
For me right now, the goal of getting a gig with National Geographic is impossible. It just is. They're just not going to hire someone with my lack of experience.
However, if I look at a lofty goal like National Geographic as an endpoint, I know what step I would need to take in that direction. A smaller, more realistic step. I would need to start adding cultural and historical texts to my reading, first of all. Maybe start pitching some smaller magazines. Those things, I can do. Those things are definitely possible.
And here's the other thing. A gig with National Geographic might never happen. In fact, there's almost no chance that it will. (They say so on their website.) But that doesn't mean the dream ever has to cease being the guidepost and the end goal. I can continue, my whole life if I choose, taking those smaller, possible steps, bringing myself closer and closer. And who knows what might happen in the end, or along the way.
What are your lofty goals? What steps could you take towards them, and do you think its worth your time?