Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Tuesday Slice: Begin with the here and now


Some say begin with the end in mind

And goals are good
pointing the way
giving us a sense of direction

But goals are as far away as
this afternoon
this evening
this weekend
next week
next month
next year
another job
another place
another--dare we say it--body

A goal is
a mathematical ray
on a flat plane
in three-hundred-sixty degrees

but the starting point remains the same
the ray doesn't exist
without that fixed point

We are here

It is now
we must reckon with
wrestle with

plans be damned
goals evolving 
as the weather
and circumstances
and knowledge
and bodies

We must begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop.


"Begin with the end in mind."--Franklin Covey
"Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end; then stop."--Lewis Carroll


  1. WOW! Thank you for getting me to focus on the starting point. Using the ray, a term we learn in geometry class, is the perfect metaphor for goal-setting. It is pointed in the direction but it is grounded in me, right now as I set my goal. And the realitiy is there, as you mention, it can spin 360 degrees. You have me thinking so much which that simply 3-letter word, ray. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Sally! I tend to overplan...and then life changes that direction. Trying to remember to stay present...

  2. That's a unique, yet fantastic way to describe achieving goals!

    1. Thanks, Debbie--and I was thankful for the Muse when I wrote it!

  3. Excellent imagery for the importance of goals with that math integration, Chris - I see it clearly as I read, and recognize the truth of it: "The ray doesn't exist/ without that fixed point." Ever how far off that goal may be, there's a path to it. Sure it may evolve and change, as the point moves...but there's always path. So much food for thought here in your words.

    1. Fran, it was a post born of frustration, of others not valuing the message of here and now in lieu of sticking to a linear path...and turned out to be a reminder to myself to be more present. Having a premature baby was a harsh lesson in that subject decades ago, but it seems I need to revisit the topic on a regular basis.

  4. Wow. So well written. Amazing how you spun the thoughts into words.

    1. Thank you, Terje. It felt good to get the words in print!

  5. You nailed the imagery and offering the mathematical perspective is unique. We have discussed this goal setting dilemma and yes, that fixed point is key. "...go on till you come to the end; then stop." This is great reminder that it's okay to "finish" something and to enjoy what's found at the end. That's the time for reflection and I tend to rush past the end, missing that important piece.

    1. Oh, Alice, I needed that reminder from you to stop and reflect. Be present now, be flexible in goal setting, and pause to reflect--that's what I'll be thinking about today. Thank you!

  6. I love your diction and then haunting rhythms of your poem. Achieving goals are very daunting. It’s best to focus on developing good habits step by step when you establish our goals. I can sense the overwhelm illustrated through your words, as it is how it feels when I have so many goals before me. This is a good reminder to take one step at a time.