Goals and Anchors



We go through our lives trying to be accepted and trying to fit in amongst our friends, in school, at work, after work and pretty much every where we go. No one likes to stand out and be the center of attention, and even those who do (like Lady Gaga), are still in a way, seeking acceptance (from their fans, for example).


A lot of us go through a major part of adolescence being described as aimless, lazy and lacking ambition. What is actually happening at that point is that (besides acting lazy to gain peer acceptance) we are still trying to discover what interests us. Unless unusual factors are involved, we tend to be subconsciously attracted towards interests that we think will bring us the maximum acceptance.


Through the pursuit of interests, each of us finds our life’s calling, or purpose. Some people find their purpose in life early, some convert to lifetime wanderers and yet others find it after years of struggling from one vocation, location or social group to another.

Also consider that some people have purpose thrust upon them, either by circumstance or by dint of not being able to resist peer and/or parental pressure. In extreme cases, they find that their happiness doesn’t correlate with their success (there’s a fine example towards the end of this talk).


Over time, we break down our lofty purposes into smaller, achievable and measurable goals. Life is all about fitting in unlimited possibilities in limited time, and not all of us will be able to achieve all our goals.

Setbacks will become failures, we will forget to reassess our progress against our plans, more responsibilities will crop up, priorities will change, things will go wrong and we will accept (or consider accepting) defeat. Or the opposite may happen: motivation will become obsession, we will make sacrifices & compromises, one success will lead to another, we will surpass our own expectations and at some point it will all get to our head.


And that is why we need anchors. Anchors are the people or the things in our lives which bring everything back into perspective, give us strength, show us sense, restore balance and in general remind us that we are only human. Anchors keep us grounded and safe while we try to soar towards our goals. Just like a tether holds back a hot air balloon from soaring too high than it should. Every morning, we set out to achieve our goals, and whatever be the outcome, every evening we return back to our anchors. They are the unchanging constants in our lives.

If, for some reason, we fail to establish meaningful goal(s) or find suitable anchor(s), we end up filling the void with distorted forms of acceptance such as Fakebook. We start living vicariously through TV. We start believing what we’re told, because we don’t have any beliefs of our own. We lose perspective of reality. We form cults around beliefs. We become ready to do anything, anything at all, just to be accepted. And the worst part is: deep down inside, we all know it.

Find a goal, and never let go of your anchor.

Only After…

An old Cree Indian prophecy:


Happy New Year MMXI!

Happy New Year! If the 2012 Phenomenon is to be believed, then we have about 01 year, 11 months and 01 days before the world reboots. Must make the most of it.

On the brighter side, though:


In the last week, I have made substantial changes to the categories on the left, just to make them less cluttered and more meaningful. My apologies if this broke something that you had linked to. This was long overdue and any future changes would be relatively insignificant.

Live long and prosper, and follow me on twitter: @survivalcrziest.


Of Life, Time and Waste

“Life is a waste of time and time is a waste of life, so why not stay wasted all the time and have the time of your life”

-Overheard on the Napa Valley Wine Train

To blog or not to blog, that is the question

And a good one, too (usually when someone says it’s a “good question”, that’s because they don’t know the answer). I have a folder called BlogThis each of my e-mail clients (Outlook and Web), I use the same word to tag items in the virtual and physical world, I have a travel folder with the same name that I use to collect clippings and scribbled notes in, and a folder to collect messages and notes on my SmartPhone. Items are piling up and collecting dust (even if it is virtual) in each of these locations, waiting for me to one day free them from the bonds of the BlogThis tag.

I know I must get to it one day, because knowledge stored away in e-mails is, to steal a quote, technically persistent but instantly forgotten. Knowledge must be made search-able and instantly retrievable (not to mention fit for backup). And although social networking sites provide for posting of links and subsequent one-liner discussions on them, they are just too amorphous to be useful for this purpose.

At the same time, there simply isn’t enough time to write down everything. Would you rather do something new today or write about something you did yesterday? Both are useful in their own way, and a line must carefully be drawn. We spend a lot of our time doing mundane “maintenance” tasks, and some of it doing interesting “value addition” tasks. The idea is to maximize the latter, and one thing that I’m going to try to do is to not merely repeat what someone has already said (possibly in a different medium). Analysis is the key.

While looking for inspiration, I came across Google’s Steve Yegge‘s excellent post called You Should Write Blogs (which will make you want to Alt-Tab and start writing straightaway) and Jeff Atwood‘s post titled How To Achieve Ultimate Blog Success In One Easy Step (which will make you stop for a moment and think).

Enough blogging about blogging, let me get on with it now!

  • Step 1: Make a minimal blogging schedule
  • Step 2: Stick to it
  • Step 3: When in doubt, read this post again

Predicting the Future

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”

-Abraham Lincoln

Saw this on someone’s e-mail signature last week. More on e-mail signatures later…

Why it’s so Important to Just Start

Jason Calacanis of of Mahalo.com (a human-powered search engine) wrote an interesting post about why it’s so important to just frackin’ start. One of the things he says that really struck me is “if you don’t start you can’t iterate”.