Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How to Make Your Life the Adventure It Was Meant to Be... (New Thought Sunday Message 12/5/10)

I will soon turn 66. And I am grateful…

Since I first reached an age where I thought I might want to do something with my life, I have accomplished virtually everything I set out to accomplish. I have had several remarkable careers. I’ve owned a couple of businesses. And I have been fortunate enough to work with both all of the right and all of the wrong people over the years. Makes for an interesting balance. You don’t really think it’s all that much fun when you’re in the midst of dealing with those who challenge you. But if you keep your mind open, eventually the gift will show itself. It always has for me.

I have had the privilege of serving on non-profit boards and of volunteering in many, many capacities. I’ve owned a condo, a house, an apartment building, and some vacation property ‘way up in British Columbia, about 100 miles north and east a bit from Vancouver. I actually lived in Vancouver for three years. I have also lived in California, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon.

I served in the U.S. Army in the 1960s and took basic training in Louisiana. I was fortunate enough to miss the Viet Nam skirmish. They sent me to Germany. Good time, let me tell you.

I’ve cut hair, worked in offices, took care of disabled people, pastored a couple of churches, and have done a fair amount of writing, professional speaking, and creating music. I’ve had no money; I’ve had a lot of money. Neither state had a lot to do with my sense of self or happiness.

There’s much more I could share with you here, but I am not really doing this as a bio. Still, suffice it to say, my life has been a raging success. So, why I am I sharing all this with you? For one big reason. I have never—let me repeat, NEVER—set goals. That may fly in the face of everything you have ever read on the subject. But I have discovered that, during the odd time or two that I made the attempt, I always felt like I was in some way restricting myself. I couldn’t finish them. Ultimately, I just wrote them off and went my merry way. Here I sit today, knowing that my life has turned out pretty much the way I would have written it down had I known!

To close this little slap in the face to all the self-help and business gurus that think success can only follow goal setting, I share a few secrets to goal free living that I borrowed from author Stephen M. Shapiro in his wonderful book, “Goal Free Living.”
  • Use a compass, not a map.
  • Trust that you are never lost.
  • Opportunity knocks often, sometimes quietly.
  • Want what you have. [ This is HUGE! ]
  • Seek out adventure.
  • Become a people magnet.
  • Embrace your limits.
  • Remain detached.
One final quote from Mr. Shapiro:

“If the way you live your life truly works for you, then stick to it. But if you feel as though something is missing, that there could be more to life, that you want more passion, then consider trying something new, even if at first it feels uncomfortable or unnatural.”

I concur, sir. As the saying goes, life is either a great adventure or nothing.


  1. Thank you for sharing this on your blog. I hope your next 66 years are as fascinating and diverse as your first 66.

  2. Thanks, great post. However, I think at certain level we still need goals to give us direction.

    You may want to check out http://www.GoalsOnTrack.com, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It's clear, focused, easy to navigate, worth a try.

  3. If goals serve you, use them. It's not a matter of all or nothing. Thanks for your comments.


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