I think it's important to have goals. Not just like inflatable football ones that you've set up willy-nilly across your living room. That's ridiculous. It would also mean that your goals were directly blocking you from achieving most things. You'd be markedly slower at getting around and probably push all your aspirations back by a good year.
If your goal was to get married and have children etc then you might never make it because potential suitors would be so freaked out by all the inflatable goals all over your house. You'd only really be able to procreate with a tiny footballer with a fear of metal who was raised to feel comforted and fertile around inflatable goals.
You'd then have to question how much it was worth carrying their genes further on into this blind route of evolution. I think I'd argue the world probably didn't require the offspring of such a peculiar fellow. But then, one day I'm going to have to make the case for someone impregating me. And I'm well aware that what you're asking there is for someone to make their mark on the world by mixing their genes with those of a neurotic, miniature woman with slitty eyes, sweaty palms and a tendency to think about old hairy Italian men when she should be doing something productive.
Truth be told, I probably wouldn't make much of a case for it. I think getting the over head projector out to show my potential life partner the diagrams would just make things worse.
That is all very much beside the point though. I think it's important to have goals.
I've been trying to analyse what my career goals are today... after an interesting conversation with some comedians earlier in the week. I was performing as the infamous 'open spot' on a pro bill and had a really good time chatting with the other two comedians who were there. One was complaining that someone else he started at the same time with was now on TV... how was that fair?! He isn't even that good... was the familiar moan. The other comedian was complaining that his agent didn't get him the kind of live gigs that he wanted.
After about 20 minutes of (genuinely interesting) conversation, they both stopped. The conversation turned to the fact that they were both being quite down on the achievements they'd actually made. I pointed out that, from my view, one of them was a successful promoter with many contacts and opportunities to gig wherever he liked, and the other comedian was working every night (paid) and could probably take his cracking CV to another agent and get a new lease of life breathed into his career.
They agreed enthusiastically and the whole scene was turning into something fairly meaningful. It felt like the the sort of conversation Jesus might have before magnanimously handing over the parable rights to a hard up apostle.
Then, in a bizarre display of a comedian being able to think about someone else, one of my new friends said "I bet there are tonnes of open spots who'd kill to be in your shoes. You've already done two years, you're getting on fairly good bills, you've got agency interest and you're gigging most nights of the week... even if it is unpaid in most cases."
This was a good point very well made. I was pleased to hear this kind of thing... and it made me want to set some goals down now so that I can measure where I am and what I'm doing in the future. So that it'll be a little bit harder to not see the progress when I'm still not totally thrilled with my current position. The trouble is, once you put goals down, you create the chance you'll never hit them (and some of mine are pretty specific). So, I've picked 5. They're not necessarily my ultimate goals or the only ones... but they are some goals that I'd be sad if I forgot about -
1. I want to be Doctor Who's assistant.
2. I would like to present my own FM radio show.
3. I'd like to play Blanche in a commercial theatre production of Streetcar Named Desire
4. I'd like my surname to one day end in a vowel. (Gandolfini or DeVito are fine examples)
5. I'd like a house in France.
I think these are good goals. However, if I never get anywhere close to achieving any of them I reserve the right to claim I was drunk when I wrote this and will refer you back to the initial paragraph on a living room full of inflatable goal posts and midgets.