Tuesday, March 17, 2015

goals and goalies.

So I've been raving about a recent read called The Swap by Megan Shull. My mom thought it was great. I thought it was great. And I just passed it off to one of my beloved best friends, Hannah, because I couldn't wait for her to read it. That's a definite marker for me when I read a great book: I immediately think of people I want to share it with.

The book is about two 7th graders, Jack and Ellie, who accidentally switch places. Ellie is stuck in Jack's body ... and Jack is stuck in Ellie's. It is funny and smart and heartwarming. And when I say funny, I mean I put the book down and laughed. It's a fantastic story.

One of Jack's quirks is that he's a goal setter. And he doesn't just set short-term goals.  He's only in 7th grade, but he's already working toward goals he's set for years down the road. Like, when he's an adult. Namely: playing professional hockey. And he's devoted to taking the steps to make it happen: he wakes up hours before he has to to run and train. He takes ice baths. He practices hockey even when he's not at practice. He's a force.

I was super-duper impressed by this because, my word, 7th grade! I've met lots of young readers over the past couple of years who put in that same kind of time, devotion and focus to something they're passionate about. I'm not surprised a 7th grader would commit to something that way. I just think it's inspiring. And I think I can sort of relate. At least a little bit ...

I mean, I have never, ever been an athlete. The only sport I know anything about is Quidditch. And my goals will never revolve around anything that involves running or physical coordination.

But. When I was in middle school, I knew I wanted to be an author someday. Even back then, I was consciously thinking about what I could do as I got older to maybe-hopefully-someday make that dream real. I think that's why my heart clicked quick with a character brave enough to shoot for a dream that seems so far away. So far fetched, even.

As an adult, I still have lots of goals. There are books I want to write, places I want to visit and big moments I want to see come to pass in my life. Sometimes I write down those goals and feel invigorated and full of shimmer-sparkling HOPE. And sometimes I write them down ... and feel a little sunk when I realize how far away it all is. I have a whole book of dreams and goals I keep tucked away where nobody can see it.

As I was thinking about Jack and his goals and my goals and GOALZZZ in general, I came across a TEDtalk by Derek Sivers. And I think it's super interesting. He basically says that if you have a big goal ... you should keep it to yourself.

I've always heard the opposite, haven't you? I've heard you should tell people your goals, so they hold you accountable. But as I listened to his talk ... I wondered if there might something to it. At least sometimes.

For example, when I'm writing, I don't usually talk about what I'm working on for a good long time. Or I'm very vague when people ask me about it. I'm not superstitious about the process at all, and I'm not being cagey. But there's a certain excitement I feel in the early stages of writing, when I'm keeping a book to myself, when it's new and it's mine and I haven't shared it with anybody yet. And once I've shared it, the momentum seems to fizzle.

Don't get me wrong; I absolutely love sharing the stories eventually. There's something about every stage in publishing that I like. But I sometimes think early writing is more enjoyable ... and I even tend to write a bit faster ... when I keep it to myself to start. Maybe it's similar to what Derek is saying?

Here's the TEDtalk (it's a short one): http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself?language=en

What do you think? Do you share your goals - big and small - with someone else? Or do you keep them close to your heart? 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this book! It will have to be on my reading list now.

    I listend to the TEDtalk and I thought it was really interesting. I sometimes keep my goals to myself and sometimes I don't. It depends on what the goal is or who I'm telling it too. I agree that its nice to keep goal in its early stage to yourself because it makes you want to work on it more and it makes you excited!

    Thank you so much for posting another blog post! I really enjoyed reading it.

    xoxo, Messy