The Futility of Goals

more bubbles

It has occured to me that someday, on the other end of life's journey, I will once again be unable to create a perfect edge-to-edge sea of bubbles, while standing over the pot. At that point, I hope I can appreciate the symmetry of the situation.

tiny bubbles

One of my earliest distinct memories, at four years old, was standing over the toilet bowl and being astounded at how my older brothers could pee the the bowl full from edge to edge with a frothy sea of bubbles — while my pathetic peeing produced only a few sad little bubbles. I resolved that I would acheive the goal of filling that bowl — edge to edge — with my own heroic sea of bubbles.

Turns out it didn't take very long to acheive that first conscious goal, wall to wall bubbles of pee. Probably took a few months. And staring down at my work I felt, even then, like an idiot for having set that as a goal.

I also concluded, at that very moment, that achieving a goal was not only not worth the trouble, but probably a dumb idea in the first place. My conclusion may have been a bit drastic — to banish setting goals from my life's plan, but, in fact, I have found that achieving lofty goals often feels pretty empty.