This past weekend I attended a national campus recreation conference in Nashville, TN called Emerging Recreation Sports Leaders. The conference is put on by an organization called NIRSA which is basically the large network of campus recreation professionals who are the people who make sure that college students do more than study and drink while in college. The conference was truly wonderful, but not at all in the way that I had expected.
I’ve always been a sort of ‘jack of all trades master of none’ kinda guy and it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve actually seen a problem with that approach to life. I am a very creative hardworking individual who communicates exceptionally well (and is humble… did I mention humble?), but that’s not enough. I need(ed) a goal–my life needs conflict.
Up until this past weekend I’ve gone about the job search the only way I know how–picking a few careers I think I’d be good at and throwing my resume at everyone with an email address. Thus far I’ve achieved limited success and really just felt uneasy about everything that’s been happening to me in the professional world. This weekend I was surrounded by highly motivated, focused college students who made me realize that it’s not enough to be talented and know you’re good. In order to be successful in this life, you must physically write down your goals and then dedicate yourself to accomplishing them.
In essence, this is the same principle that Donald Miller (one of my favorite authors) writes about in his books. He explains it by saying humans naturally avoid conflict because it makes us uncomfortable. But if you’ve ever read a story you know that every good protagonist has a goal they want to accomplish and over the course of the story that goal is challenged and the protagonist must rise to the occasion in order to achieve said goal. One of his books (I forget which one since I’ve read them all) is focused around Don’s realization that if his life were a story on the screen or on pages, no one would want to read it. Wow, that’s some powerful stuff.
Now I am also at an interesting juncture in that I am engaged to be married to the girl of my dreams. She is the most wonderful, sincere human I’ve ever met and I am more than pumped to spend the rest of my days with her. But that doesn’t mean that I will reach ultimate contentment once we’re married. Marriage, to me, is the act of choosing a partner to go through life with. The book Wild at Heart talks about how marriage is not the end goal–that we must bring our adventure to our partner. Our partner is not the ultimate adventure.
I am going places. And it’s time I wrote those places down.
So I don’t (yet) have a 1,3,5, or 15 year plan yet, but I do have two very specific goals which I will now share with you all as a measure of accountability. By writing these words I am putting myself out there–owning up to my potential. I can always change my goals, but you’d sure better question me if I do.
1. I will be a published author.
2. I will one day be CEO of a non profit.