Recently, I was sitting on the porch, sipping an adult beverage, reflecting on “the way life should be”.  Times today are pretty turbulent, regardless of where you live, so I had plenty of room to daydream about improvements.  But as usually happens, my mind drifted, and I began thinking about “the way things were”.  I thought back to my early twenties when I was first entering the workforce.  About all I had to offer was a young guy, fresh out of the military without a college education or any marketable experience for that matter, unless of course you were in the market for a jet engine mechanic.

Fortunately for me, it was a time when a college degree was not the price of admission, so I was able to land an entry level job with a major company.  I ended up spending 37 years with them in various positions with increasing levels of authority.  I guess you could say I was successful, depending on how you quantify it.  I know that I mostly enjoyed what I did, and looked forward to opportunities for further advancement, whatever they may be.  I believed that hard work and integrity would see me through, and therefore I committed what today would be seen as an unpardonable sin.  I never set any goals.  I never aspired to be a captain of industry, or even a senior manager.  I just thought that my efforts would be recognized and I would advance, and to some degree, I was right.

So there I was, sitting on the porch with my adult beverage, thinking “what could I have become if I had set and pursued specific goals”?  I know I climbed a lot of the same hills that the guys with degrees did.  It is just that they were moving toward something while I was moving beyond something.  I can never remember in all my years ever saying “I want to be a (fill in the blank), and this is how I am going to do it.  Instead, I would see an opening that sounded interesting and decide if I felt qualified to apply.  If I did, I would make sure my desires were known and would avail myself of all the people that could help me make it happen.  Sometimes it worked.  Many times it didn’t.  But somehow through multiple consolidations and organizational shakeups, I always came out the other side.  I survived to work another day.

I never attained great wealth, not did I ever seek it.  I was more interested in a secure income with opportunities for increased compensation.  As long as we were able to pay our bills and live comfortably, I was OK with that.  I wouldn’t exactly call myself complacent, but I definitely was not a Type A personality.

But what if I had set goals and had formulated a plan for achieving them. What could I have achieved.  Today, I could own a grand home or homes.  I could buy whatever I wanted and not worry about the cost.  I could take vacations whenever and wherever I wanted.  And if I was really successful, I could be sitting on a porch somewhere, sipping an adult beverage.


About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at poormanspoet.wordpress.com to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Life, Random Thoughts, Reflection and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Goals

  1. In the past, it seemed as if people didn’t plan their future the way people do today. Lots of people didn’t have college degrees but they were accepted for what they could do. The things people wanted in life were different than they are now. Success didn’t mean the same thing and wasn’t a word in the everyday vocabulary. Life was more family oriented and less concerned with working 80 hours a week to get ahead. Families stayed together longer. I wouldn’t say they were the “good old days,” they were just different than the days we’re living in. Greed and power weren’t as obvious and people respected the government instead of not trusting and hating and it. Different times for sure.


  2. quiall says:

    And perhaps the stress of always striving for more could have led to an early death. I think you are the wealthier man.


  3. I lift my tumbler to you…


  4. Sonya Kassam says:

    Heh! I loved the lesson in this story.


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