Be intentional. That’s one of the dominant themes in Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond. To me, being intentional involves “asking yourself exactly what you want your life to be like and then being purposeful in making it happen (xiv).” From choosing a college major to practicing college survival skills, knowing what you want can help you focus and “go for it.”
While the importance of intentionality is stressed in each chapter, now I’m wishing that I’d said a little more about goal setting and the burning desire a person needs to have in order to achieve these goals. I’m currently reading an engaging book entitled Goals, Guides, & Groups by Diane Fulcher, and one of the reasons I’m enjoying it so much is because of the relevant and instructive stories that the author includes. In the chapter entitled “Goals that Encourage Achievement: You Gotta Want It,” she writes of an incident that involved a lesson from her young granddaughter.
When our granddaughter was 2 and well into that exploratory stage, she was forever testing the limits of her words and her physical prowess. Climbing seemed to be one of her specialties—along with not letting go of things she treasures, chasing our dog around the house in the eternal hope of befriending her, and knowing the surprises in her favorite book.
Her parents are careful she doesn’t hurt herself but also want to encourage her to try things on her own and learn to push through adversity and challenges. Her dad encourages her with the words, “You gotta want it.” The day she decided she was too big for the Pack-n-Play (a portable crib for traveling) was the day she determined to climb over the top of her perceived prison. Just before she cleared the bar, her parents in the nearby room, heard her grunt, “You gotta want it.” After falling safely on the carpeted floor she raised her hands in victory, proclaiming, “I want it.”
I love that story! It shows that even a small child can want something badly enough to overcome obstacles to achieve it, especially if she has someone to teach and encourage her. In the 2nd edition of Crossing the Bridge (I’m an optimistic), I’m going to stress the importance of desire and encouragement. “You gotta want it” is true, and the presence of others who are willing to teach and nudge you along is important too.
Don’t you love Fulcher’s story? Do you have a similar one to share about desire and/or goal setting