It is not possible to run a course aright when the goal itself has not been rightly placed. – Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon was a British philosopher and statesman who flourished at the end of the 1500’s and the first part of the 1600’s. A profound thinker, more than one sculpture of Bacon shows him reclining comfortably in a chair, a man after our own heart.
Long-term planning is key in any endeavor, especially a well-lived life. Anyone who accomplishes anything of substance generally did so after much planning because success seldom happens out of thin air. It must be planned for and worked towards and I’ll tell you what, if something is planned for long enough and worked for hard enough it might well happen. If it doesn’t, it is probably because there were forces outside your control that prevented it. That’s OK, it’s the way the world is built and setting a goal and working towards making that goal happen is oftentimes its own reward.
Generally, though, a good plan and some hard work equals success.
A rightly placed goal has two characteristics. One, it must be achievable. It must be something that is not only possible to do, it must be in line with your talents and goals. For example, me setting a goal of earning an Olympic sprinting medal is not particularly realistic. I do not have the talent of running fast, nor do I particularly care to. No matter how hard I try I will never win an Olympic sprinting medal because that goal is not consistent with what I was meant to do on this planet.
A goal of being a writer who always has something worth your time to read is, on the other hand, a realistic goal.
Two, the goal must be challenging. It must be something that is deserving of the planning and work it takes to make it happen. Something easily achieved is easily forgotten.
All of us, simply because we are human beings passing time on this planet, have an obligation to ourselves and everyone else to have a plan for our life and work to that plan. When we do that we can run a straight course to a well-lived life.