On having goals

This post has been drafted for months now, and I just haven’t come up with a better way to put these ideas. So, here they are.

In the past six months or so I’ve realized how little in life I’ve set and attempted to complete any kind of long-term goals. In some ways I’m just not a very goal-oriented person when I think about it, but when I think about it some more I can be very driven, and being a goal-setter seems a natural extension of this mindset.

In some ways I haven’t had to think about long-term goals up until now. There was deciding on a major before college, changing majors during college (which was actually a somewhat painful deliberation) and then less than a year after graduating before becoming involved with Mission Data International. Once we were serving (or attempting to serve via support raising) with M-DAT we did have one long-term goal in mind, but it didn’t seem to be something we needed to labor over so intently since we were, in our human thinking, on the right track to achieve it at the time.

Since then we’ve been derailed, or at the least been diverted onto a side track. This change in direction seemed to be doubly affirmed when our house in Arkansas sold ten twelve months ago. I was hoping, even after having to put it on the market, that I’d find some supplemental part-time work in town (Siloam Springs, that is) before the house would sell. God had other plans though, and he’s set those plans into motion — even if we don’t know what they are for certain yet. The house sold in two weeks and a month after that we were moving into a somewhat crazy, at the time, downtown living arrangement.

And maybe, at least in part, all of this thinking about goals creeps up on a person when they enter their 30s.

Now the wife and I have set a long-term goal, a big goal that seems in many ways insurmountable in the Scissortail Art Center. This pursuit is a thrilling idea for me and also feels necessary. I will probably set other nearer term goals related to my own sculpture, maybe language learning and reading as well, but at the moment I have a deep-seated felt need to establish and work towards a larger and enduring idea.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at pcNielsen.com.

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