Goals revisited

So I’ve been back and forth on the motivation spectrum lately, but I do have to admit I’m spending less time on the dark side, and I’m encouraged both by that, and the recognition thereof.

As I make my way around the web, reading different things, engaging different people, I’m learning a lot, and I think the knowledge is helping me to make important distinctions, and to simultaneously recognize my own value.

In my ever-developing approach to a more evolved state, a more authentic life, I feel it’s important just now to get some goals on paper. I’ve done the long range planning in the past, and I wont claim it’s without value. But if these times we’re experience have taught me anything, it’s that life is for living, moment by moment.

And I think that’s an inherent hypocrisy to long-term planning…one I have trouble reconciling. There are thousands upon thousands of successful (?) people out there who will tell you, without hesitation, that goal-setting, beyond the immediate, is integral to their success. And again, I cant fault them for their advice, seems to be working out well for them.

But in these times of corporate irresponsibility and necessary agility, my focus is changing. The 20 year plan no longer seems to fit. The thought of a ‘career path’ is anachronistic. No, today seems to demand a new way of thinking about the future…one that recognizes the flaws of the current system. One that appreciates the simplicity found in different cultures, earlier eras. One that, in short, values this moment above all others, and recognizes the importance that it plays in all that is to follow.

The inspiration behind this way of thinking comes partially from my professional experiences. But much more than that, it comes from my experiences as a father of two boys. Because here’s the thing…Jack and Charlie don’t give two small shits about my professional disappointments. They could care less that we moved from a brand new 3,500 square foot home into one 20 years old and half the size. They’re not worried about the college fund or the retirement plan.

They simply want me, as I am. They don’t judge me for my accomplishments outside of their experiences, and they don’t notice financial sacrifices one bit. So long as we have time together, amassing experiences, exploring the world around us, they’re happy.

And it’s this very nature of children that has brought me to this place. They don’t plan for the future. They don’t worry about things beyond their control. They simply engage the world in front of them with an eye toward enjoying as many moments as possible.

Not only is this behavior worth modeling. It’s worth encouraging. And if I don’t do the prior, I wont be doing the latter. And where would that leave them? I’ll tell you where…in the exact spot so many grown adults find themselves today. Worried. Frustrated. Anxious.

So today I’m writing down some very short-range goals - my top 5 priorities as they are today, in fact - with the sole purpose of understanding what I value most, and ensuring that I’m spending my time in such a way that these values are well-represented.

My Top 5 Priorities:

  1. To teach my boys to value original thought over preconceived notions or societal norms.
  2. To establish enough online sources of income that I can work from anywhere I want, and never have to step foot in another brick and mortar employer again (unless it’s my own), much less rely on one.
  3. To travel around the world, exposing myself and my family to as much diversity (in culture, language, opinions, etc) as possible.
  4. To support my wife and my boys in such a way that they believe it’s within their power to act on any passion, pursue any priority, and that doing so is the path to true contentment.
  5. To find my own path to confidence and self-esteem, and finally allow my potential to come forth.

ps…this post started out as a private journal entry for The Daily J tab, but @micah ‘s advice about being transparent, and authentic, made me change my mind. Learning how to matter, after all, is a tough path to walk alone.

What do you think…am I wrong to be so short sighted?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Glen Allsopp March 2, 2009 at 3:39 pm

Wow, I’m very impressed with your list. I love number one, definitely seems like you have your priorities in order.

As for 2,3 + 5, those are something we share in common! Good luck on your mission, and I respect that you took the time out to do this!


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Jeb March 2, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Hey Glen, thanks for the comment, and for coming by to chat in the first place. In reading your blog, I knew without you saying so that we shared many values. Yet another tremendous benefit of the technology we all take for granted - the ability to connect with, and be inspired by, others who share our priorities. Thanks for the push my friend.


jebdickerson March 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm

future? nah, i’ll take today, thank you very much. http://budurl.com/2d7b

This comment was originally posted on Twitter


Lisa March 2, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Hi Jeb,
Just today I read about Glen’s goal setting that you refer to. And I’m now following him on Twitter; which I am very new to.

You pretty much set your priorities the same as I feel. I couldn’t have said it better myself. The only difference is my husband and I have a 2 year old daughter. I had her at age 40.

I’ve subscribed through email for your updates. Thanks for sharing because it made me really think about my own priorities and what really matters most.

BTW I’m in Pueblo West. Take care, Lisa


Jeb March 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Hey Lisa,
I’m so glad you came by, and that the list reflected your own priorities. I’m more encouraged every day…seems more and more people are re-evaluating priorities and placing time and effort on the things that matter most.

Thanks for being here Lisa, I look forward to connecting more soon. :)


Jay March 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Great list Jeb- will you be my new Dad? :-)

Get Jay’s content here..Inner Noodle’s Guide to Dream Analysis- Step 3


Jeb March 3, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Ha ha Jay, be careful what you ask for…:)


Henie March 2, 2009 at 11:43 pm


There is no right and wrong…there is only working or not working…and from the list you’ve compiled, you clearly have pin pointed what works and doesn’t work for you! You’ve set forth your own guidelines; built a roadway for your dreams and youre off and running!

Your boys are very fortunate that you lend your time to them making sure that they remain thinkers and dreamers set out to better the universe for the good of all.

I marvel at your authenticity and transparency and having the balls to light the fire! Thank you for sharing.

Get Henie’s content here..Backyard Splendor


Jeb March 3, 2009 at 8:19 pm

I agree Henie, there’s not right/wrong. But I do think there are right/wrong ways of thinking about things, insofar as progress is concerned. That is, if we aim to move forward, learn from what works, and what doesn’t that we may build the life we see in our mind’s eye, reflection, adjustment and effort are required.

Thank you for the great quote, and the kind words.



Henie March 2, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Ooops forgot to include my quote! :~)

“What truly matters is the minute we are standing on!” ~Henie~

Get Henie’s content here..Backyard Splendor


Brian Pennington March 3, 2009 at 9:30 am

Thanks Jeb. I know your blog is promoting ways to think for yourself but you just did it for me. I hope this isn’t cheating but I just cut and paste your goals into my my goals.

Thank you kindly sir.


Jeb March 3, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Hey Brian, take what you will my friend. If but one word of mine helps you, or anyone else, I’m better for it. Thank you…


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