“I look at my life’s goals as if seeing them for the first time. I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.” – Unknown
Once I read that quote I thought to myself, “this person gets me.” I then started thinking back to when I was a kid, and the many different goals and dreams I’ve had for myself. You know when you’re in school and people ask, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I don’t really recall wanting to be anything conventional.
Life Goal #1
My first “real” goal came about when I was fifteen. I wanted to work for Greenpeace. I remember telling my mom, “I’m going to save the seals.” I was planning to live on a boat and chase down those who were beating and killing helpless animals. It is still vividly etched into my mind; I can still picture it. I was going to jump off the boat, and run, screaming and yelling, towards those men with clubs.
Life Goal #2
My second life goal was to work for Amnesty International. No longer would I travel the world by boat. I would go save Nelson Mandela. I would get his captors to understand their wrong-doings, and they would just “get it.” He would walk out with the numerous others held in captivity, and nod my way as I quietly went on my mission to save the world.
Life Goal #3
I was going to be a photographer for National Geographic. Once more, I would travel to underdeveloped countries, taking photos of people and allowing others an insight into Apartheid and famine. I would change lives through pictures. They would see what I was experiencing, day to day.
My dreams for the world and for my life were to make a difference; I was going to be “that” person.
Everything changed when I fell in love. I couldn’t imagine leaving my best friend for a lonely life on the road. Then, I fell in love again — I couldn’t fathom leaving my best friend and my son, even for a split second. These two had now become my everything. I had never envisioned being so totally happy… so much so, that I was willing to toss aside those other goals.
I decided to focus my dreams to change the world a little closer to home. Seals became dogs and animal rescue. Amnesty International became local letter writing and support from afar. And photos? They could be taken stateside. There were homeless and sick, and again, dogs. Their eyes speak volumes. I would change lives, just not in the way I had planned. But lives would change, nonetheless. Mine had.
What I’ve realized is that, all those years ago, I envisioned my life and put those intentions out there. Nothing has changed. I still do that. I’ve evolved, and I still intend to change the world through my actions.
I don’t think our initial plans ever really change; at the core, they remain the same. I used to think that my life had never really worked out the way I planned it. Looking back, I’ve realized it is exactly what I planned, just in a different “package.” I’m thrilled with each and every direction my life has taken.
Do you remember your goals from when you were young? Did they change, or just evolve? Drop them in the comments below.
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