Living Without A Goal

Living Without A Goal

6379758-lg_3.jpgI'm reading an interesting book, James Ogilvy's, Living Without A Goal. Yes, there are others out there who think this way! Here's one quote:
I have come to believe that a life enslaved to a single Goal, no matter how noble, becomes a mechanism rather than an organism, a business plan rather than a biography, a tool rather than a gift.
I do realize that we set some goals for ourselves, such as when to set the alarm clock for, what direction to go to work, whether to use oil on canvas or watercolor on paper, what degree to apply for, whether to stay happily married to this girl or not, etc. However, as Ogilvy would agree, to set an overarching Goal that we enslave ourselves to leads to a mechanical kind of life. A friend recently told me they read that we should live our lives like a clock. Set goals and arduously meet these goals no matter what! Schedule every minute of your day and achieve what you intend! That's a mechanical lifestyle that I think is intended for mental illness or leads to it. Rather, we can live our lives artistically. Creatively. Spontaneously. Mysteriously. Not all our actions have to be a means to some end. Instead of trying to manipulate the world, we can begin by appreciating it. In fact, I would argue that the most creative life is the kind of life that doesn't enslave itself to a Grand and Comprehensive Goal because the creative urge isn't sublimated to this Goal. My most creative paintings happen when I just start painting without the end product in mind. Often, when I do plan and plot a painting, it becomes dry and artificial. Manufactured. I happen to believe that the most original and imaginative art is filled with what I call happy accidents. This applies not only to my personal life, but to the corporate life of our community. The best moments in the life of our community have been accidental. Unplanned. Spontaneous. They have been creative moments, both in their inception as well as in their fruit. This doesn't mean we don't plan to meet, say, on Sunday morning. But we try to leave what happens that morning quite open and loose. Even the overall life of the community: we plan to stay a community, but how we live that out is full of adventure, risk and surprise. The creative fine art photograph is by my friend Howard Nowlan.

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