Let’s take goal-setting to a whole new level – the human quest for globalization. Our need to set goals, achieve, evolve, grow, spread, and through it all, consume. This drive to strive, as we could call it, is what has brought us all to this point in history. This point where technology rules our lives, where most things are available to us at the drop of a hat, where time is money and where money is what we seem to want and need most. The human desire to grow and achieve has brought us industrialization, moon missions, iPhone apps and polio vaccines, triathletes and genetically modified super-grains. We are capable of so much, we can invent the world the way we see fit, and we DO, because we are drive to grow, to move forward, to progress. But this innate desire seems to have gone off course – our need to grow as a society isn’t always as beneficial as it may appear. Yes, we’ve developed some incredible things, but the need to grow our economy, expand our technology, can feed back to create even greater problems. I’m not saying we don’t need a strong economy, or that technology isn’t an excellent means to solve some of our problems. But perhaps we need to look at exactly how we created these problems in the first place. It was probably because of our innate desire to get bigger and be better.
Can we live sustainably, move away from growth as profit, without stifling our innate need to achieve? I think so. In 2011, perhaps we step back from ‘goals’ and look instead at commitments and intentions. Can we commit to grow spiritually, to work within our communities, to ‘develop’ instead of ‘profit’ in the traditional sense? If the ‘spiritual’ doesn’t appeal to you, think instead of the values you would like to focus on this year. Can you envision becoming a better you WITHOUT buying a bigger car, a new gadget, running yourself into the ground? Can this be a year where you set intentions to live more sustainably – within your means, but beyond yourself?
For those of you who haven’t already, check out the Story of Stuff, an incredible little sketch on sustainability. It will rock your socks off. P.S., Story of Stuff often releases new material on different “stuff”, so check in often!