Saturday, February 11, 2012

Whose agenda are you following?

(SMLC 06 - goals)

Words spilled by a colleague over tea last week stopped me dead in my tracks:
"I've spent far too long engaged in other people's agendas. It's time to take charge of my own."
At that moment it's like she's opened up my soul and gave it a good jab.

It's in my nature to make sure others are ok - that they are comfortable, have what they need, feel included, are engaged, getting the most out of life, and are fulfilling their goals. This can be an extremely rewarding experience - seeing the people around me happy makes for a happy me. Unfortunately though, I'm not all that discerning about to whom and what I give my time. I also spend a chunk my days distracted by people and their own goals that, while make alot of noise, don't always add a great amount of value to my life. Quite frankly, some do the opposite.

So what about me? While doing all that nurturing of others have I been making sure I am ok, that I am fulfilled? Have I been following my own agenda? The moment the statement left my colleague's lips I knew the answer, and it wasn't positive.

I recently read Julian Barnes' book The Sense of an Ending. The following statement by the main character Tony Webster stuck with me:
"The less time there remains in your life, the less time you want to waste it."  
At that moment of realisation I knew: while I remain so intently focused on spinning my wheels for other people, the only person I cheat is myself. If, as Webster states, I have a certain amount of time left in my life, how do I want to spend it? What is my agenda?

And in this last question lies an even more gaping hole. I've been humming along for the past eight years studying with the intent after graduation of helping people in some capacity. That's a pretty broad statement. Basically, instead of spending my life make rich people richer, I wanted to enrich the lives of those that need a little helping hand. Now I'm finished with academia, the questions remain:

How do I want to help people? 
Who do I want to help?
How will I help these people lead more meaningful lives? 
How will I help them believe in themselves and their strengths? 
How will I guide them in following their passion?

What is my agenda?

An inspirational story
of a boy who just
needed to be heard.
When I ask myself these questions right now I feel as though I'm in a fog. I know what I don't want to do, but I have no idea what I do what to do.

So my broad goal for this year is to explore my own agenda and live to it. I want to avoid being distracted by the noise. I want to tune into myself, recognise when I experience flow and when I feel a fire of passion burning inside like I did at the moment I began this whole journey eight years ago.

I know there is a clear agenda in me - my immediate agenda is to focus on uncovering it.

Finding my agenda is my agenda.


  1. Goodluck finding your agenda! Your post made me wonder about my own....something to think about.

  2. I really love the Holstee Manifesto you have posted! Gives you lots to think about!
    Good luck on finding your agenga. It's so easy to get caught up in what others want us to do.

  3. Good luck hon - it is great that you have stopped to reflect on this rather than charging ahead status quo. You will figure it out I am sure and all the dots will connect!

    Deb @ home life simplified

  4. One of the loveliest things about you is your care for others, me included. I do hope you turn around and do the same for yourself. It will be exciting this year to stop and think and feel, to see where it leads you.

  5. Fantastic post!

    I think it is very easy to caught up in what other people think you agenda should be as well so maybe something to be aware of. I would love to find mine as well- my one main "goal" so to speak. Hopefully this year will lead me to it.

    Best of luck

  6. Hi there! What you said about being distracted by other people's goals that don't add value to my life.....I have been trying to articulate my own frustration of late and you put it there in a nutshell for me! Thank you! That's one thing I'm liking about this simplify your life challenge, it is empowering me to distinguish between what I really value and what I think others think I should value! Great post!

  7. wow, what a great thinking point - whose agenda are you following. I can imagine that it would be a very helpful question to ask every so often to make sure you are on track as well... very nice, i might borrow that x


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