Annual Goals

“Year Planner 97
Penetrate Chile before month 11”

These lines are an extract from an old writing book of mine recently revisited when dusting off a few metaphorical cobwebs. It was written 20 years ago (1997) and was some sort of twentysomething attempt to express my personal goals, with the reference to month 11 having no other significance than the fact that it rhymed with 97. I suppose we could call the book a journal of sorts … or a dumping ground for thoughts (OK, enough with the rhyming).

I didn’t actually reach Chile that year, although I did experience her cool curved beauty three years later.

I moved to Venezuela instead – where I discovered a different landscape and culture, learned Spanish, made friends (including one very important one).

If I think about the spirit of such a New Year’s “goal” – being to leave/progress from my existing situation and explore exotic locations, maybe learn another language, perhaps in South America – then moving to Venezuela would indeed constitute a success. Which is why the spirit of such goals and the deeper wants and needs they illustrate is so important. It’s easy enough to see this 20 years on of course since hindsight gives the best perspective of all.

That said, in certain corporate environments today, where specific and measurable describe the guiding stars to success; would my performance against such a goal have been deemed a failure? Probably.

Personally, do I deem it so? Absolutely not.

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