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Taking Stock of Your Carrot

Taking Stock of Your CarrotThat darn carrot.  So many people I know are going after that darn carrot. Running through life, checking things off the to-do list, being ‘on-top’ of things, looking good and feeling unfulfilled.  Because there dangles that carrot. The ever elusive carrot–the holy grail that has you thinking if only I could get the carrot then I would be ok.  I just need to keep working for the carrot. But the carrot keeps changing growing and unfortunately moving.

The carrot is the college degree, the spouse,  the kids, having enough money to be comfortable, having enough money for retirement, sending the kids to college, being happy in your career, getting a vacation home, the carrot list can go on and on and on.

In theory, the carrot can be awesome.  It represents the goal.  It represents your priorities what matters most and the direction you want your life to take.  The problem with the carrot is when it doesn’t represent anything except the next ‘thing.’  When you are unclear on what the carrot represents you are just chasing an imaginary object, you might never reach. Let me say that again:  When you are unclear on what the carrot represents you are just chasing an imaginary object, you might never reach. It sounds insane, but I know many many of us (me included at one point) who are spending all of our time chasing something that we can’t even define and don’t even know if we want in the first place.

In this society get so caught up in the chase we forget what or why we are chasing in the first place.  We get so use to going after ‘the goal’ we forget to ask ourselves–do I want this goal in the first place?

So today, I want you to pause from carrot chasing for a moment and ask yourself to define your carrot.

What does success look like to you?  Is success a big house, new car and being able to eat out every night.  Or having a flexible schedule to spend time with family and friends? Maybe success is having a community of friends who gather and chat about politics, art, and activism? Or success is more education–having a Ph.D.? Success can have a million definitions.  But what is success to YOU, not your parents, neighbors,  or partner but YOU?  Think back to high school and college how did you envision your life?

How will you know you have ‘made it’?  What does your life vision look like? In essence, what does your carrot look like? What exactly are you chasing? And do you still want to be chasing it?

The point of these questions is to help you take stock of your carrot and get clear on your goals and priorities.  To help you stop just reacting to life start by getting real about what you want from your life.

I would love to hear from you.  What does your carrot look like? How do you stop the never ending carrot quest?

4 Responses to Taking Stock of Your Carrot

  1. I’ve been thinking about this very issue quite a bit lately. I have a tendency to get caught up chasing two carrots that are in completely opposite directions – leaving me running full speed…in place. At these times I find it necessary to call a time-out and give myself a moment (an hour, a day) to re-center and remember what it is that I really want out of life.

  2. Nearest and dearest says:

    I was confused and skeptical at first about the carrot. Wow did you nail it. The ideas expressed made it so clear that I will not doubt again, bring it on carrot!

  3. Ha! Hadn’t even thought of the idea of chasing 2 carrots–but I am SURE you are not alone in that. Most likely it is not even obvious until you notice you are just standing in place–or running around like a chicken with your head cut off and getting no where (which is one of the WORST feelings). Nice work in recognizing, regrouping and getting real with what is most important to you!