Friday, January 9, 2009

Arriving at One Goal is the Start of Another

Henry David Thoreau once said that “Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.”

If, like me, you constantly keep a to-do list (the product of some thoughts) brewing like a pot of stew, you have plenty of company. It could range from the menial (find the phone bill, pick up the dry-cleaning) to the seemingly herculean (lose that nagging extra ten pounds, organize the basement). I often misguidedly let checking something off the list stand in for happiness, only to find that three new items appear in its place. One of my sisters once told me that she’d be content when she had more storage space. To my surprise, my father-in-law told me recently that he was once, and only once, completely caught up on all of his to-do’s. He described at as a peculiar six hours in his life.

A recent study revealed that, more than a raise or promotion, employees need a sense of progress to feel contended in their jobs. This would naturally extend to our personal lives. Perhaps our lists help us get closer to how we wish the world to see us, not how we feel on the inside.

Perhaps Thoreau was right; we are the sculptors of our own lives.

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