This week I created a bucket list of 50 items I would like to do before I pass on. I noticed that I have already accomplished a few things and probably would not go back and redo them. I also noticed that some items were tangible, such as, visit the Victoria Falls. That would result in a yes/no answer and can easily be crossed off the list.
However, there were a few items that were intangible, such as, save someone’s life. How do you measure that? Would that person have to be at death’s door or could it be more subtle than that. If I helped someone stop taking drugs, is that the same as saving a life?
Jeffrey A. Thompson, a professor at BYU, provided some insight into finding one’s calling. He associated the experience to a person’s spiritual gifts. He compared the life of zookeepers who are “outrageously satisfied” with their work. He noted that there were some unpleasant work and sacrifice associated with being a zookeeper. From this we learn that, along with the bliss that comes from a satisfying job, we must also be prepared for the blisters that come with it.
Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. In his lecture titled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, he spoke about his childhood dreams and how he achieved them. He suggested that achieving your dreams are not about going after them. He said, “It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.” He lived his life the right way, probably learned from loving parents, and the childhood dreams came to him.
Dreaming is an important aspect of goal setting because it helps us to imagine the future. Pausch said that he was fascinated with the TV series Star Trek and could only imagine a communication device that one could flip open and speak from anywhere. At the time of his lecture, people had cell phones that could be flipped open and you could contact anyone on their cellphone where ever they were. The power of visualization allowed young scientists to follow the image that Star Trek had placed before them and they made cell phones a reality, complete with a flip top as dreamed of in Star Trek.
As a young child, I was fascinated by the work of a harbor pilot. I thought that piloting a large ship safely into or out of a port was the coolest job. To reach that goal, I first had to become s ship’s captain which required years of academic study and many years at sea to obtain sufficient experience. After my first voyage as a captain, I left the shipping company and joined a port authority company. I drove tugs and trained for my pilot’s license for a few years until I was appointed as a harbor a pilot. The road to being a harbor pilot was long and I had to be patient for the right openings but eventually I achieved my career dream.