Springingtiger's Blog

I Didn’t Get Where I Am Today

The other day, as I headed for home, from the Boyd Orr building in Glasgow’s West End, I passed the Student Television studios. It occurred to me that, even in my day, there were students who engaged in hobbies like television or debating, because they were appropriate to their career plans. The story is told that Michael Hesseltine planned out his political career up to becoming Prime Minister,  ‘millionaire 25, cabinet member 35, party leader 45, prime minister 55’, on the back of an envelope while still a student; apart from the last two he made it. He took his chance at the PM, unfortunately for him – if not for the rest of us – he didn’t make it. However by any meaningful material measure, he can be described as a success. Sid Savara has debunked the story of research done into goal setting at Harvard Business School. However his article does cite research by Gail Matthews, Ph.D., Dominican University which demonstrates that there is truth to the assertion that writing down one’s goals is more likely to have them happen.

It must be nice to know as a youth the course of one’s life, I personally, have difficulty looking beyond bedtime, to plan a day in advance is a tribulation. Like many people with Aspergers I tend not to have a grasp of the relationship between actions and their consequences, or rather, I can see the relationship in hindsight, but it tends not to occur to me before acting. Having said all that I have, on occasion, written lists of goals and a surprising number have been accomplished, as I have discovered on reading old notebooks. I have in the past done all sorts of personal development courses, and have been frustrated at my lack of material success, that changed when I received my diagnosis and my comparators changed. In autistic terms I may be called a success as I have employment and a long term relationship. However, insofar as I perceive myself not to have the specific success I want, I am not YET a success. To a great extent my problem has been not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but at Sixty I have, at least, some things I want to try. At last I actually have a couple of projects on the go, apart from the garden. I am not a failure, I’m a very late developer. As for growing up, it’s not in my schedule.

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