Cliches, Part 2 of 3, Acheiving Goals

In yesterday’s post, I introduced the problem with cliches in our language.  Here is some more on common cliches:
YOLO!  Or, Why not? Or how about, What the hell?  I admit falling prey these sorts of phrases when applied as peer pressure many a time, in my more naïve youth.  But now that you are educated about these phrases, are they what you say to yourself after you do something you know is stupid, or before you do it to justify it?  It works if you are under a certain age, as you can get away with engaging in admittedly dumb activities for a while.  Many explore themselves and experiment with their world in young adulthood, as there are less stakes; sometimes it’s fun to see how far you can push the limits.  But after a certain age, you need to have found a happy medium between your inner badass and your more virtuous side.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or is it out of sight out of mind.  Well I think we know which one Kelly Clarkson believes.  Thank you, Kelly, for your amazing ability to belt out “Since You Been Gone!”
I don’t have time for X.  If it’s important to you, then yes, you do have time.  Everyone is given the same amount of time each day- 24 hours.  That’s pretty fair.  You get to decide what activities will fill each of your 24 hours, and also which activities not to include.  Realize that it’s simply not a priority that you get activity X done instead of saying you don’t have time for it.  Vocalize it to yourself, and say it to others, then you will be honest with all.  It eliminates the need to lie about why you are not doing the activity, so it also stops person B from further prying as to how you can make time for activity X, or why you need to make time for it.  If it’s not a priority and you are happy about that, be truthful about it.  If it is a priority and you are not happy at its not getting done, make time for it.
They say…..followed by anything.  Who says?  This is a cop out to not take credibility.  Please give a reference: did you read this in a paper, in a magazine, hear it on the local news, hear it from a friend of a cousin of an acquantaince?  When anything begins with “They say,” I assume complete ignorance from the other party. Don’t believe anything that follows this.
Whatever’s meant to happen will happen- this one can stifle you if you repeat it to yourself too much.  If that’s true, why should I do anything at all?  If my son is going to turn out however he’s meant to turn out, what’s the point in providing him any intellectual stimulation or to be intentional about any aspect of parenting?  Why shouldn’t I just sit in the middle of a field, watch the wind blow all day, and eat marshmallows and berries if I can do nothing to influence the outcome of my children’s or my own lives?  I know that’s an extreme example, but it helps me to think in extremes, 1) just to clarify things, and 2), because it’s fun.  Extreme example make it more obvious- you can clearly see which side leans to the fallacious and which is closer to the truth.
I think it’s more like the other cliche: we reap what we sow.  IE Life has cause and effect.  We have something to do with the outcome of our lives.  If we want to be millionares, we can work hard to earn and save more money, and we will be much more likely to end up with a million dollars, or at least a lot more than we had.  On the other hand, if we avoid jobs and work because they suck so much, we won’t be likely to end up millionaires.
No, the more helpful way to look at it is to say, I can do everything I can to achieve my goal, but if it doesn’t happen, I guess it wasn’t meant to be.  But be absolutely relentless in the pursuit of the goal, that way you will know for sure you did everything in your power to make it happen.   Then there will be no regrets and no wondering.  Get educated about it.  Study your chosen subject.  Not so you can worry about the outcome- you can’t see into the future anyway.  If you don’t acheive the ultimate goal after trying your darndest, then maybe you’ll help others along the way, and at the very least, you’re bound to gain some intel on life or yourself that could point you torward a new goal.  But if you don’t do everything in your power to achieve your goal, then you’ll never know.  You’ll always be left wondering, “What if I’d pursued that”?
Life happened or life got in the way– “Life happened” was even made into a twangy country song.  So you got pregnant.  So you flunked out of college.  So you have a crappy job and would rather be an astronaut.  Or you (insert your sob story here.)  Life is bound to happen to everyone.  But, the smart people make due, pull themselves out of the inevitable holes life digs for them, and find a way to carry on!
If you are using this as an excuse for why you aren’t accomplishing what you feel like you should be, stop doing that!  Especially if you don’t realize what the cliche means; it’s very vague.  If you do realize that it means, either A) my dreams changed, B) my dream is not my priority, C) I lack discipline, or D) any real reason besides the afore-stated, and you are just using the cliche to explain your problem to others, that’s fine.  But if you don’t even realize why “Life happened” is allowing you to blow off the things you actually should be doing in life, then take a moment to think beyond the cliche and realize why you’re still sitting on your bum instead of sprinting toward your goal.
If you decide it’s because of a lack of discipline, then just start in some aspect of life.  Discipline is contagious, so if you develop discipline in some area of life, there’s a good chance it will bleed over into the area you want to work on.  There’s some great advice here:  As Dave Ramsey always says, when people start winning financially, they usually start losing weight, too.  See folks, luckily for us, it all works together!   You change your mindset and it can change every area of your  life!

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