Now that New Years’ is past, it is time to start the 2020 adventure. It is time to build a successful year and a future based on the personal and community goals we set for it.
New Year resolutions are fine, but the work of making them come to reality is hard and sometimes unforgiving. Many of us do not take our resolutions seriously because of that factor and the simple challenge of just managing our lives from day to day.
I am a product of a challenge that affects a family that had not experienced life outside the farm or the truck or the car that followed the crops around the country from field to field. We moved as a community knowing that we had to depend on each other to make it through another season.
The decisions about how we did these things were not in our hands. The schedule was set by contractors that sometimes were part of the family and sometimes not.
The beginning of my own adventure dates to the evening my father rebelled against this control in a place where the farmer wanted my dad to turn on the lights of the tractor and continue working the field into the night. For him it was a matter of honor with life and death implications.
For me it was it was a vital lesson on the ambiguity of life as an independent soul. That is why we came to Colorado to work on another farm.
But here the life was ours and we had to learn on our own about how to fashion it and move the family forward. Leaving the farm and eventually going to the city was a process wrought with dangers especially to the unity of our family.
Not knowing what the future would bring and not knowing how to get there was the environment of my achievements. I just took whatever opportunities that came along and tried to do something successful with them.
I suspect that is the reason I am so drawn to planning and the development process. Building a personal or institutional plan tends to be similar as they both require a design of life and the ingredients for success.
In working with a development team, we always could say to each other at the end of the planning process, that the concept should work or if it did not, it would not be because of what we did to prepare. The hallmark of success in our work featured an important and critical period that imagine a process from concept to results.
We also were prepared to accept endings that were not in our plans. Success and its rewards have a life of their own and we really do not know how things will turn out until they do.
I remember reading about a disagreement between the great novelist Carlos Fuentes and a British critic on the meaning of a character in his famous novel Terra Nostra (1975). Fuentes’ argument was based on what he meant to say about that character in the work.
The critic came back with the notion that it was not what the author “meant to say” that mattered as much as what the novel “did say.” This is important because a work of art once constructed carries a life of its own.
Life is like a work of art as we can plan to whatever detail we decide. Yet the experience is what it is all about.