The goals and stretches for 2012

Normal, Youth & Careers

The National, Wednesday 4th January 2012

THANKS to all who sent me messages throughout 2011 about this column, its
value and how it is helping people.
The group comprises high school and university students, school leavers, teachers, educationists, accountants, bankers, clerks, journalists, a geologist, a retired army major, ergo. 
Some of us are very privileged in life and have learnt that “a word fitly spoken
is like apples of gold in pictures of silver” (Proverbs 25.11).
The gold we received from American, Australian, Indian, African and Sri Lankan teachers  – as well as our own village elders – must be passed on to others.
Its value is retained when it is passed on.
That is the essence of what we share here.
In writing, I try to blend the best of western knowledge (acquired from formal and informal learning) with the practicalities of my growing up in a small village to make the pieces relevant and applicable.
Goals and resolutions are the topic for many at this time of the year.
But, how many will revisit the goals they set – a month from now – to re-evaluate where they are as regards their plans?
The majority will make fun of themselves a week from now because they broke a resolution.
Should you be like them?
No, you must not.
People who work hard at keeping their resolutions
are attempting one of the hardest tasks (if not the
hardest) in life and that is to get a firm hold of their own lives.
So what are your goals this year?
You want to write better, speak better English, do better in Mathematics, make a coffee garden, learn a new fishing method or be less-talkative?
Write them down and make plans as to how you will achieve them.
Notice that often things you plan may not always come out the way you want them.
Some plans may be delayed.
That is when you have to stretch a bit.
Do other things while waiting. 
Be aware of Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
But keep up your efforts.
I watched a movie recently produced by an American but set in London.
He said he first thought of producing a movie at a particular site when he visited as a boy.
Almost two decades later he did it.
Some of our plans may not be realised now – it will take time.
Remember, “Rome was not built in a day”.

lNext week: You must know yourself