I read a lot, some is for pleasure, but most is out of necessity. Sometimes I read things that cause a seismic shift in the way I think. I was reading about setting goals not to long ago and how people who set goals are happier. Have you ever set a goal you didn't want to reach? The idea is that a goal is something we either want or need to achieve and if this is the case, then reaching said goal should further our lives, increase our happiness, or perhaps decrease our pain.
As I read on the author talked about how we set deadlines to motivate ourselves to met those goals. The argument was that the concept of a deadline was good, but that the word didn't really fit. So why then do we use the word deadline? Deadlines themselves, can spur us into action by creating tension, but for many they inspire dread and anxiety that mounts each day as the time approaches when one must evaluate if he or she has been successful. For others deadlines often come and go without a second thought.
Perhaps it is time to reconceptualize the idea of deadlines and rename them lifelines as this author proposed. Lifelines are designed to move us in the direction of our goals and increase our joy and help us to focus on the beauty of being in the moment and working hard on something we want. I have embraced this concept and have started setting lifelines for myself. When I think of a lifeline I want to move toward it. As much as deadlines have kept me on track, lifelines imbue me with a sense of optimism, of not only achieving the goal I have set for myself, but it frames the journey as one of joy. I see lifelines as threads that create a new fabric in my life, one that is softer, more comforting and more joyful and less demanding than that looming deadline of the past. One of the first lifelines I set for myself was getting this website up and writing this blog. While I didn't meet the lifeline i set for myself with respect to this blog, I realize that by calling it a lifeline there was also less guilt and shame when I did not succeed on the date I had set for myself. Not having to carry around negative feelings also left more room for my day to day experience to be filled with joy and the recognition that I was still moving in the direction of my dreams. What lifeline will you set for yourself today?