In my mind, a goal is not a goal unless you tell someone else. An athlete or movie star or someone like Arnold said something along these lines, I just can't remember who.
Too many goals go unspoken in our minds and never reach the light of day. Sometimes the enormity of a goal and the difficulty it takes to achieve it, force us to never really make the effort in the first place, and it's easy to relegate a dream to the recesses of your own mind. But by announcing your dreams and goals to the world, one becomes accountable to others, not just oneself. In a way, broadcasting your imagined future inherently helps turn dreams into reality.
In the past, I've created simple lists of things I wanted to achieve in my life. These lists were just words on a piece of paper, with no plan of action, just a record of what I happened to be dreaming about on any particular day. Often I'd forget entirely about these lists I'd make, only recalling that I'd written them when I peruse through old notebooks and journals. Strangely, most of the dreams I'd assumed I'd forgotten had actually become reality. So somewhere in the subconscious of my brain, that list remained, and slowly I checked off the goals, one by one.
Some of these included traveling. Some were athletic goals, like completing my first triathlon. Some were just general, like continuing a healthy lifestyle. For the most part, they were attainable, and attain them I did.
This time I'm going to try an new experiment. This will be the first public forum in which I announce my latest dream, and it will be in two parts, sort of. The first part is the goal, and the second part is a secondary goal, which I hope will help me achieve the first one.
Before I'm 30, I will begin sailing around the world. Ambitious? Maybe. Unrealistic? Absolutely not. Luckily, Mia is gung-ho about this idea, so I got that covered. But the second part of this idea, and a way in which I hope to facilitate it, is to write about the adventure. For the time being, I will write in my blog, continuing to update my progress towards achieving my dreams, among other topics. But my big idea is to convince someone to publish a series of articles chronicling the progress of my dreams.
Countless books and how-to articles have been written after-the-fact, with the advantage of hindsight. Most of the time, setbacks as well as achievements are unrealistically dramatized. I often get the feeling that even though I'm reading about the fruition of someone else's dreams, they still seem very far out of reach. The writing is too removed from the state of mind the person must have been in during the actual process of creating and seeing through a dream. The stories are too abstract, too out-of-touch with the writer's feelings in-the-moment. Inevitably upon completion of a such a lofty aspiration like climbing Mt. Everest, sailing around the world, or running 350 miles in one stretch, people change, and these stories are written from the perspective of that changed person. Of course they are usually very inspiring, but they are not very practical. The hardships are often glazed over as a minor bump in the road, as they may well be looking back, and so are the incredible milestones.
My idea is to write from the perspective of someone in the process of creating a future for themselves, to chronicle the actual events leading up to and beyond the completing of a dream, starting from the actual hatching of the idea (which would be now). Of course this could never be a daily, weekly or even monthly column. This must be long-term, maybe 4-5 insightful articles in a year. Interspersed could be stories of the past, events that planted the seed for my dreams long ago before I ever had any conscious notion of these ideas whatsoever. Because ultimately out past shapes our future, and we ride it all out right here in the present.
So now that it's been officially announced, I am not only accountable to my own conscience, but to anyone who comes across this story and reads and understands it. I not only owe it to myself to see this through, but I owe it now to friends and family and the occasional stranger that comes along to check out my musings. And hopefully, I'll owe it to the readers of whatever publication I can convince to run this idea, and in turn, inspire others to think like I do. Follow along...it'll be an enlightening experience for us all.