Monday, June 24, 2013

The Germ of an Idea

So where do big goals come from?
Last Saturday I was hiking by Squaw Valley USA. It was during that hike that I realized that I had never planned anything big in my life but rather had lived from day-to-day taking things as they came. Not that I am complaining or bitter at life or God for where I am. Quite the contrary, I have been blessed and overwhelmed at the providence and gifts that I have experienced though-out the fifty one years that God has seen fit to allow me to inhabit this place. Sure, I have made plans and set plans before, but they have all been relatively small and relatively short-termed.
A hag
It was but a few short months ago when I heard the acronym BHAG for the first time from C.J. at Bamboo Creative. He was using it in the context of helping re-brand a product and service, but the term stuck in my head. It is short for Big Hairy Audacious Goal and we had to set some for the products we were working on. However, the phrase sticks in my head. Possibly because it is so ominous sounding.
A hag can be quite scary, so what then is a BHAG, but something big and scary. In the same way setting a Big Hairy Audacious Goal is scary in that it can come back to haunt you. Especially if you are proud and vainly conceited, like me. If you never set a big goal, it can never be said that you failed to achieve it.
Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when my friend Al Soto was preaching at Bayside Church Lincoln Campus. He was talking about his motivation for getting his Master's degree. He said his reason was be the first person in his family to graduate with a degree. To break the cycle of his family of origin and set a new direction for his children and grand-children.
It was these thoughts bouncing around in my head last Saturday when I was hit with the realization that I had never in my life set a BHAG that scared me. I have always been drawn to the mountains and have hiked many parts of the Pacific Crest Trail, but I have never hiked the whole thing, end-to-end, Mexico to Canada. In fact I never wanted to, or so I said. Perhaps from fear of failure, perhaps from pride, perhaps because I like my comforts.
For whatever the reason I had never even seriously considered hiking the whole PCT. Maybe the reason was that I needed a bigger reason than a few nights of outdoorsy back-to-nature whimsy. All I know was that right then and there all the thoughts in my head swirled around and mixed and blended, perhaps with a bit of providential inspiration, and I knew that I had a BHAG that scared me. A goal where the possibility of failure was real, and even success meant significant suffering, sacrifice, and deprivation.
My personal BHAG is to hike the entire PCT in 2017 when I am fifty-five years old.

No comments:

Post a Comment