Friday, February 12, 2010

Update, Goals and a Quiet Weekend

Hi Everyone,

I normally don't post an update as a blog, but I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and emails following the last article. As I've said many times on this site, disagreement is not a bad thing, my goal is simply to make you think and perhaps reflect on life in a different manner.

Speaking of which, I was challenged this week by a few articles about setting goals and how important it is in creating purpose for our life. As a personal trainer, I do this with my clients on a regular basis. It's not only necessary to measure improvement, but to improve at all. And yet, despite my familiarity with the process, I've noticed a distinct lack of goals in other areas of my life. Yes, I'm writing a novel, and the goal is to finish it and sell it. And I'm working on other articles that I hope to have published. There are too many other areas however, that I've left vague and undefined, and the days I am bogged down by malaise this absence is made very clear.


What do I want to accomplish in the next five years? Where do I see myself? Where do I want to be working? What would be an ideal situation for me? What does God want for me and from me? These are the questions I haven't answered lately, not clearly with a pen and paper. So this weekend I'll be taking the time to meditate and pray about where I am and where I'm going. My challenge for you is to join me, and perhaps send me an email or comment about how it went. Life in this culture is very fast, and if you're in a big city like Toronto, it's even faster. And it's easy to get swamped by worries and bills and work and kids and everything else. Why not take half a day to spent quietly thinking about what you want to accomplish and where you're going. Whether you're 63 or 33 or 23, you still need to be moving forward. There are still things for you to be working towards. Without them, we begin to drift like ice floes, subject to every wave and storm.


(And yes, I'm aware of Valentine's Day. To be honest, I'm ambivalent about the holiday. On the one hand, it's an opportunity/excuse for you to do something nice for your spouse. On the other hand, if your spouse is expecting something great or romantic on Valentine's Day, there's a good chance we're letting our relationship idle the rest of the time. Remember, any day is a good day to be thankful for the people you love. Flowers are always nice. (I prefer lilacs, but that's just me.) And time spent listening and encouraging one another is always within our reach.)


In regards to the next article, it's about ¾ finished. Hopefully it will spark as much thoughtful debate as the previous ones. I've also had questions lately about the time it takes me to compose an article. Generally, it's about two weeks. (The normal ones, not an update like this) As a rule, I read about five books at a time and spend at least two hours a day reading things online, all of which are woven into the long (hopefully) cogent pieces in front of you.


By the way, a number of people have mentioned to me this past month that they print out the blogs so they can take their time to read them, and I've again been asked about the possibility of forming a series of articles into a book. Frankly, I'm stunned and humbled that some of you enjoy the work that much. At this stage however, I have no plans to put these articles into book form, so we'll have to make do with printing them out individually. For those of you who read my work as a note on Facebook, I believe it's easier to print from my website (www.stephenburns.ca) and if you'd like a copy from Microsoft Word, I'd be happy to email it to you. Stephenrburns@gmail.com


Thanks again for your readership, your comments, your encouragement and criticism. The work is a joy to me.


-Steve

P.S. As mentioned elsewhere on this site, I keep the videos I post, you just have to scroll down and check the left hand side. The latest is from J.K. Rowling on the benefits of failure. Excellent stuff.

P.S. II One of the most surprising things I heard this month was that some of you were using the articles as group devotion/discussion pieces. If that's the case, and you'd like some possible discussion questions for small group work or personal study, I'd be happy to send you some. Simply send me an email, and let me know which blog(s) you're interested in, and I'll get back to you. As for everything on In Search of a Hero, there's no charge, only the hope that you'll continue to think and work towards a life of faith and hope. Blessings…