Life Goals

by Christopher Paul on July 9, 2006

For the real 100th post on So It’s Come To This, I thought I’d talk about life goals.  You may have noticed that on the side bar, I listed the life goals I posted to 43 Things.  Life goals, according to my definition, are those things that may take many months or years to accomplish – that take planning, commitment, and perseverance to accomplish – that if accomplished will only enhance my life but not detract from it if it is never reached.  As you can see from the list, I have three things on there that I’d like to experience and will make some part of my day working toward accomplishing that goal.

The first one entered (which is at the bottom of the list for some reason – chalk it up to the RSS feed that powers it, I guess) is build a grass bridge in Peru with the native villagers.  Odd one, huh?  Well, it all stems back to a Nature or Nova program I watched many years ago where the documentary tracked several villages and their yearly ritual/custom of meeting together to build a bridge out of grass that traverses the mountain ravines which surround their countryside.  It takes many days of work (not to mention the months for the grass to grow) to build this bridge and everyone in the villages played a role in the making of the structure that, when completed, could easily hold two large people, a mule, and a cart full of supplies over it.

Making the bridge is no different than your “traditional” rope bridge.  Instead of twine, the rope is hand crafted by long grain straw or grass and twisted into shape much like thread or rope is done by machine today.  Individual blades of grass are twisted together to form a long piece of twine.  Those pieces of twine are twisted themselves to form a piece of rope.  The rope is then twisted with other pieces of rope to form the bridge with different levels of thickness; larger, thicker pieces are formed for the support “beams” and smaller pieces interlaced between them for weight distribution and stability.

Why would I want to do this?  Well, for a few reasons but the most exciting one for me is that it is exotic.  Traveling to Peru and living in that environment for weeks to do this is really exciting to me and is something that most people don’t normally say they want to do.  I’m the only one on 43 Things that has this goal – not bad for a global community if uniqueness is what you are going for.  Related to its uniqueness is that it is “extreme” in the sense that you need to prepare for this with supplies and physical fitness (it’s at a high elevation) that will keep you separated from what you and I would normally call the connected world (or civilization, period).

Another reason to do is because I’ll get to be a part of a team.  A team that honors tradition, that builds community ties (no pun intended), that harnesses the nature in constructive ways (again, no pun intended) to bring two seemingly distant places closer and forging a path over hazardous lands; its very metaphorical, actually, and I kinda wish that a similar tradition was prevalent in our culture.  I’m sure there would be less “bad” things in our society if communal activities like this one still existed here.

Finally, yet another reason I want to do this is to meditate.  When I’m out there working hard, physically – focused on my task for the overall project goal, I’ll be able to take that focus and apply it to my life, my world around me, and my other goals/aspirations – some of which are listed on the sidebar of this blog.  I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to find a place of Zen and better prepare myself for the challenges that await me when I come back.  I’m hopeful that I’ll gain a new appreciation of the world and of myself – for learning a new definition of teamwork, community, and of commitment.  I’ll reschool myself in hard work and satisfaction for a job well done – all on new levels that tech projects and business strategy would never be able to offer me.  I’d be able to think about all the goings on that “normal” life burdens me with and put it aside just long enough to take that focus and calm my spirit – to give me that inner peace we all look for in life.

My wife supports me fully on this and has already given me the encouragement I need to start the planning, research, and training for this goal.  And I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing – how I’m progressing towards that lifelong goal.  I’ll speak about my other life goals later on but begin immediately on reaching the first one that will, someday, make me a much better person than I already am.

Previous post:

Next post: