We were driving back from lunch with a mutual friend. I looked at my best friend in the world and said, “I know this sounds weird man, but what did that actually accomplish?”
My friend’s pained look back at me may as well have been like holding up a mirror that revealed I was covered in feces.
“I know…” I confessed, “I’m jacked up right now.”
I had just come off my textbook bender, and had been sacrificing every bit of balance to write a 400 page tome on planting.
Like an astronaut trying to get airborne, I’d jettisoned everything that didn’t help me get to the moon and reach my goal.
The problem was that it was having a profound detrimental effect on me. After straight months of prolonged isolation, I was getting weird.
I’m an introvert.
Nobody believes me when I say that, but I recharge in solitude. My default is to spend my time alone with my thoughts. I’ve taken all of the personality tests, and on paper, I seem a total mercenary. My Strengthfinder results were the ingredients of an introvert’s perfect night out.
But when the textbook I was writing fed into this, Proverbs’s wise assertion that “too much honey is not good” applied to something sweet turned bitter in my life. I had not only grown unbalanced in jettisoning my relationships, I’d stopped seeing them as necessary. That one lunchtime date was a wake up call. It was a “ground control to major Tom” kind of call.
Bowie’s masterpiece, Major Tom assures himself that, “Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles, I’m feeling very still, And I think my spaceship knows which way to go, Tell my wife I love her very much she knows”.
The fact is, he was drifting. At the end of the song, Major Tom is lost, and doesn’t realize it. My friend that day was shooting me a look to say, “your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong”. It’s probably not an accident that the mug I used for motivation the whole time I wrote that book was a Nasa mug that said, “I need my space”. Flip it over and it read, “Failure is not an option”.
There’s also a motivational saying, “Losing sight of the land, we see the stars”. Depending upon how you look at it, that’s not a good thing. Losing sight of the land, I was drifting because I had my eyes so focused on outer space. I was no longer earthbound, but drifting.
My only lifeline was to my wife during those months. We ate dinner as a family, walked every day, and I made sure I put the kids down every night. But to be honest, my social life was hanging by a thread.
How does this tie into goals?
For a guy like me, who thankfully is in the complete opposite headspace right now from that period, I am grateful for social goals. I’m currently meeting with a new friend in a half modeling/ half discipleship bi-monthly nerdfest. I’m also reaching out to my best friend and his family and seeing them a ton. There are other friendships that I’m pursuing.
And I no longer ask, “What did that accomplish?”
I know what it accomplished. It has allowed me to enjoy one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Relationships. God, who has eternally been a relational God, existing within a mysterious relationship with himself, known as the Trinity, has designed us in his own image, needing and benefiting from relationships. Without relationship, babies die, the elderly die early, and people like you and I fail to thrive and grow.
I could write a book on this subject but I’ll stop there. Right now, I’ve been building out goals for my wife and I. Goals that have to do with devotions together, walks, and time reading. Travel, and accomplishing our dreams together. For my kids, I’m strategizing always having a hobby, activity, or interest to cultivate with them. And for my friends, well, I went snowboarding for the first time last week…simply because that’s what my buddy does. I was actually pretty good at it.
My friends, these goals are changing my life, and I believe that with God’s help, they can change yours too.
P.S. – I’ll be starting a new coaching cohort to help you reach some of your goals. I am only taking a limited number of people. To sign up to this cohort, check out my coaching program.