Long story – short

Standard

Good thing I checked Twitter before going to bed! Kath posted something about 750words.com there which made me get my enthusiasm for writing back.

I realized that this site is a very good tool to get away from shortening everything. We use apostrophes and slang in writing like the whole world functions on 160 (or 140 now, my Twitter friends) characters. When you try to reach a goal of writing 750 words a day after you carried around your eight and a half week old baby all day, you surely develop the urge to write out every single word. Not to fool anyone because really no one cares what you write and the only person fooled if you cheat is you, but because you do not want to end up at 734 words and not have anything to say anymore.

Somehow, it becomes important that you do this, that you reach 750 words. Why? So you can prove to yourself that you can reach a randomly set goal? A goal that you did not set, but a person (half-way around the world) that you do not even know? I think we feel challenged by goals that others create for us. When you set a certain goal for yourself, it is easy to make excuses because the only person you have to respond to is yourself. You know yourself best, so you will find the best excuse to not reach the goal that still lets you look in the mirror the next morning. When someone else set that goal – even though you may have never met that person – you will feel responsible not to disappoint them. It does not seem to matter whether you would actually disappoint them or not. Just knowing that there is a possibility that you disappoint someone else but you who maybe will not let your excuse count, will make you do the work and try your best to reach the goal.

I find this to be a very interesting mechanism. It works for me. Funny enough though that it only works if I think that the person setting the goal would be worth my respect, friendship, that I look up to them, or whatever else you may call it. If I think of someone as a person that will not be able to relate to me, shares my view on life, my interests, philosophy, I will not care to reach the goal they are setting.

Here is a simple example: When a child goes to school, all kinds of people set goals for them, politicians and educational experts set goals for what the child should have learned at what time, teachers set goals in terms of which work should be done when in order to reach the goals set before by politicians and experts. In textbooks, authors have set goals as to what knowledge should be gained after working through each chapter. And so on…

What will make the child want to reach these goals? As for the goals set by politicians and experts, I do not think any child could be made to care unless their mum or dad is one of said politicians or experts. As for the teachers’ goals, the child needs to have some respect for that person as well as feel that they act to bring the child forward, not to just check off a point on their things-to-teach list for that school year. And the textbooks? Personally, I have never in the slightest way felt inclined to take the goals proclaimed in the content section of any textbook seriously. Not sure why, but the reasons to this I will have to examine later on as either Lily is going to wake up from the sound of me typing or my eyes will shut because they hurt so bad.

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