Sunday, July 19, 2015

Big River and goals

Out on the lake today for a long swim before the afternoon storms rolled in, I realized I was getting a lot of sun, and was reminded of Big River Man, a documentary about a Slovenian guy who sets out to swim the Amazon from its source to the sea.  He does in fact achieve his goal, but he goes kinda nuts in the process and ends up pretty much back where he started, broke and half-broken.

Which struck me as kind of a cautionary tale to all the one reads about goal-setting, the importance of having clear and well-defined goals if you're going to achieve anything noteworthy.  Case in point: there was an important and oft-cited study involving Yale (or was it Harvard) grads about goal-setting that showed that those who had written down their goals early in life were more likely to achieve them.... or was there?

Here's a blog post that suggests that this famous study is in fact apocryphal, though the blogger did find another small study that validated the basic idea.

Whatever. If in actual fact an unexamined life is not worth living, and I buy that hypothesis, setting goals early in life and mindlessly following may help you reach your goals, but at considerable cost.

In any case, it is time for lunch.

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