Do you have a goal that’s been on your list for a few years now that has just sat there, untouched? You like that goal, it’s a worthwhile goal, you keep meaning to get to that goal, and yet … it remains.
For me, that goal was playing piano.
I played piano from when I was 5 years old to 15. I was in a minimum of three recitals/performances/competitions every year. I earned many certificates, ribbons and awards over the years.
Conventional wisdom says that the more you do something, the easier or more natural it becomes.
When it came to performing, I found that to be a bunch of crap.
It never got easier. Before every solo performance, my heart would race, my stomach would turn and my palms would sweat. I’d be so nervous, my hands would literally shake. I loathed piano recitals, and yet somehow I managed to do dozens and dozens of them for years.
When Mr. Man moved in, he brought his keyboard piano and would play (and still does) often. I’d get a little misty and wistful and talk about starting up piano again. He made it look so fun.
I told friends and family that one of my goals was to start playing piano again.
But I never did. I still haven’t touched the piano once.
And for a while, I felt very guilty about it.
I felt ashamed for putting off this goal until I realized it wasn’t really mine.
For Mr. Man and many others, practicing and playing the piano brings them stress relief and relaxation. For me, practicing the piano makes me extremely frustrated, stressed and depressed. Yes, it was nice to be able to impress people with my repertoire of memorized songs, but I derived little pleasure from it.
But talented people aren’t supposed to let those talents go to waste, right?
There was the real reason behind my goal.
Whether I internalized that impression from society, my parents or whomever, it doesn’t matter. The point is that I finally realized outside influences were the motivating factors behind my goal of wanting to restart a hobby that made me want to jam a metronome in my eye.
That realization was like a breath of fresh air. I promptly removed that goal from my master list several years ago, and it’s been absent ever since. (It also provided me with a huge happiness boost.)
So for each of your goals for this year, ask yourself the essential question of, “Why do I want to achieve this goal?”
Is your goal to lose weight truly yours or are you doing it to fight the “chubby kid” stereotype bestowed upon you growing up?
Is your goal to learn a new language because you want to learn the language of someone you love or is it just because “that’s something smart people do?”
Is your goal to start a business because you genuinely believe you’re meeting a need in the marketplace or is it just because that’s what “successful” people do?
If you can clearly and specifically answer why a goal is solely yours and your motivation is genuine, you will find a way to make it happen.
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