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Setting Goals

September 16, 2009
As I  approached graduation from college many years ago, I wrote a poem for a rhetoric class.  It’s about goal setting.  Although I wrote it so long ago, the sentiment applies today.  Let me know your thoughts.
My Brook and I
Debbie Brown, MBA, MSW
I remember the brook
streaming though the woods;
spending hours around it,
building forts, wiping the mud off me with skunk cabbage.
I remember the brook on sunny days;
Water babbling over stones and rocks, pieces of wood;
making the water ripple the way it did.
I wondered what happened to the brook
traveling away from my yard.
I had a goal for my brook
to flow to the ocean…but then what?
I see goals for myself
thwarted, rearranged, fulfilled.
But the goal for my brook;
What happened to it?
Having set goals the brook and I
build toward them.
The brook unable to know…
about a pipe in the ground, a seeping marsh, a dam.
Myself not knowing the course I will follow.
Knowing what I want,
yet finding it hard to grasp.
I remember years of competition, of struggle, of acceptance.
Then discovering what is real, important;
myself, my friends, expression;
a soft kitten purring on my lap;
peace.
Being more than a doctor, a lawyer.
Knowing comfort, relaxation.
Being myself.
Approaching the completion of one goal,
I set new ones.
But fulfilling them means going away, sorrow.
Like the brook moves on, streams to the river…
the ocean.
Saying goodbye to familiar things,
friends.
Facing a reoccurrence of similar past memories,
painful.
I know a word…self-fulfillment.
Being vulnerable, can I take chances?
Being strong, grinding ahead through disappointments.
Being weak, letting go of crippled goals.
Like a brook who misses the river,
finding another happiness.
Being motivated, seeking what I am after,
But not too aggressive.
Being easy, tension-free.
Making it through the insecurity
Like cool water in a brook;
not knowing what will come.
Traveling through the seasons of time.
Molding myself to the environment like the brook
makes its path through nature.
Sliding over any obstacles
the brook continues over rocks, pieces of wood.
Freezing in the rough, cold spots;
melting in the warm.
Praying for a map free of dams to follow
in a steady, unchartered progression.
My brook and I.

For more thoughts on setting goals, click here to read an article from my web site:
 Career Goals and Stress: How to Achieve Goals and Maintain Your Sanity
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