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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Idealism for 2010

For the last two and a half weeks, I’ve had basically no access to either my Macbook Pro or the interwebs, which meant that the only way I could collect some of my thoughts & ideas was with old-school pen & paper. Fortunately though, my new fetish is my Field Notes notebooks, which meant that I actually did quite a bit of writing during my time offline. The one thing that I spent quite a bit of time on, was the goals that I wanted to achieve and the ideas that I wanted to pursue this year. But instead of just jotting down a list of things to do in 2010, I spent a little more time to figure out my reasoning behind all of those goals. This meant identifying the spheres of my life where I needed to set goals, and more importantly - why I needed or wanted to set myself those goals. After spending a few hours figuring out the “why’s”, then jotting down some goals and then working back again to delve into the “why’s”; I realized that there was an ever-present hint of idealism within my writing & thought processes. This was evident within the slight vagueness of my goals (in the past I’d set easily measurable goals to “track my progress” instead), and perhaps also the seemingly supernatural powers it would take to achieve some of those.

This prompted me to write the following bit on goal-setting & idealism:

“I have realized that life & its ambitions are less about attainable & measurable goals; and more about challenging yourself within an idealistic setting. The difference in these are that you may never achieve the latter, but you should find yourself smiling along that way. Also consider that self-fullfillment is an ideal in its own right and that there are no measures of ‘success’ in this regard.”

Sound a bit airy-fairy? Maybe… But consider the implications… If you’re just gonna set goals that you know you can achieve, then you’re not really pushing yourself to expand your thoughts, ideas & ambitions into new areas. So for me, it would be easy to set goals for WooThemes, since I have a 2 year history on which I can base growth, budgets and possible new targets. But to an extend, that would be limiting. And I’ve found with myself in the past, that the only reason I didn’t achieve these “easy” goals would be a lack of time invested in pursuing them (read: they were still relatively easy to achieve). So this year, I’m challenging myself to be a little bit different. Yes - I still have a few of those “easily attainable” & measurable goals, but a big bulk of them a focused on being uniquely idealistic. Ultimately this means… IF I manage to knock down most of the goals and pursue the new ideas amongst those, 2010 will be an amazing year. And if I don’t? Well, let’s just say that I’m already smiling about the journey ahead.

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