Do you see life as a series of targets? Do you wake up in the morning and check your calender to see how you will negotiate the day? If so, you are not alone. Conceiving life in light of hoops and targets is the default position for the professional class in modern societies. We live like laser-guided missiles, homing in on targets in a definite or indefinite future. Some people get so focused on hitting targets that they scarcely consider the nature of their flight path, or ask what happens when it ends (hint: boom!).
Over time the mistake becomes clear. At first it seems innocent enough. The first kiss. (Tick). The first car. (Tick). High school graduation. (Tick). Job. (Tick). Marriage (Tick. Tick). As age sets in and life becomes cluttered with debts and responsibilities, these targets become centres of anxiety. The next mortgage repayment. (Tick). The upcoming performance review. (Sigh). Slowly the pleasure drains from life, until meeting these targets becomes a hollow, soulless exercise.
Life becomes all destination, no journey. Where is the adventure in that?
Suddenly – a moment of vision. Perhaps this is triggered by a mid-life crisis. Perhaps it is a near death experience. Whatever the trigger, the moment of vision changes our perspective on the time of life. We realize that we don’t need to live focused on temporal targets at all. We realize that the greatest and most fulfilling possibility in life is to stand back and take stock of our existence as a whole, acknowledging and affirming our full range of potential, while scoping out the full spectrum of possible futures available to us to enjoy.
We have the sense that a new beginning is possible. No matter how old we are, there is always time to begin again, assuming we have the courage and wherewithal to attempt it.