This week I went to Harvard’s graduation ceremonies and it was such an inspiring experience for me. I’ll write more on that topic later, but what I wanted to share were some thoughts I had on the plane ride home.
I hadn’t written in my journal in a while so while I was sitting in my window seat I pulled it out to jot down some thoughts about life and family and think about how I wanted the next few months to go. After musing about life for a few paragraphs I started to write a to do list that looked something like this.
– Add X amount of dollars to savings
– Clean room when I get back to my apartment
– Create GRE study schedule
– Email newspaper contact
You get the picture.
These were all important things to do but I didn’t have any real goals attached to them. What am I saving for? What am I studying for? Just to take the GRE and that’s it? I then remembered something I learned on my mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about goal setting.
I needed to set goals and then make plans. I’d made a list of plans (see above) but to what end? What goal was I reaching for? Because there is power in writing things down, I re-did my list, and this time I wrote it out thinking as big as I could think! Studying for the GRE became gaining admission to UPenn’s doctoral program, cleaning my apartment became learning to make some new meals and inviting friends over to eat and discuss and solve the worlds problems – because that’s really what I want to do! I don’t just want to clean my room and I certainly didn’t just want to study for the GRE.
I’m mentioning this story because each of those plans from my original list I completed, but only because I had the motivating power of the big picture in mind. It can be really frustrating to have a mind full of undefined dreams and hopes that seem to have no path to them but my advice today is to not shy away from those lofty goals and seemingly impossible goals. Grab hold of whatever is in your mind and heart to do, and make that your aim. Set your plans around those dreams, and then push forward, moment to moment.