Target Your Life
Target Your Life
We live our lives engaging in different experiences. Those experiences shape our personality. We decide what we like based on those encounters. With each experience, we note the quality or the value of things by a ranking system that we created if not on paper, then in our minds.
For example, small children will begin to tell you very early that they like McDonald’s fries. However, they may prefer Burger King’s cheese burgers. My son was exposed to Dominican food very early in life, so his palate lends itself towards delicious Dominican dishes. In his mind, my Rice and Peas pales in comparison. I have a very close friend who loves Walmart. However, I prefer Target. I love the customer service in Target and I love the quality of their merchandise including their clothes. On the other hand, she only cares about low prices.
Whoever you are, you have built a brand list in your head that is perfect for you. We all do it. Think of the grocery store brands you will buy whether they are on sale or not, your go-to clothing lines, your favorite shoe lines, a signature perfume or cologne. What about the stylist at the hair salon and even to which girl will do your nails even though everyone’s nails look the same when you leave the nail salon? We are all brand-conscious with the products or the services that we prefer. However, when you are brand-conscious and selective in dating you are now often the target of some very bad press. Why is this?
Her name will never be revealed but after a counseling session, I wrote this post. I am still pondering this very deep conversation I had with an attractive young woman in her twenties. It went something like this:
“Mrs. Starks, I have been accused of being a gold digger. But I am a goal digger and I resent that men can do this but women cannot. “
To which I replied, please explain. She went on to explain what she meant:
“A lot of very successful men plan very early what they want in life. They begin to groom themselves and their lives to match their aspirations even down to the women they will have a serious relationship with or take home to meet their mothers. Men in politics choose women that they think will enhance their career. Athletes choose the prettiest women money can buy to hang on their arm so that they are the envy of other players. Pastors choose the prettiest good girl they can find so that they can stand before their congregations and feel that their wives are these pure creatures no one else has touched.
But why is that if I plan to be fulfilled in life with my spouse, my career, how I want to live, the social clubs I want to belong to and the philanthropic or charities that I would like to contribute to or sit on the boards, I suddenly have to hear from other women and some men, how “things and money” can’t be the most important thing in life? I am then suddenly considered shallow and looked down upon. But these women and men have no problem with other successful men who do the same type of planning for their future. The Kennedy family did it. The British Empire does it. The Brits go so far as to call you a “commoner” if you don’t have any royal blood. The old guard of New York, Astor’s, Rockefeller’s, Carnegie’s, The DuPont’s, Rothschild’s etc. wouldn’t even allow you to attend their parties if you were not someone of notable means.”
She went on to elaborate:
“When women today know that I feel this way, they suddenly get super spiritual and start telling me about how there is an inner peace that I should be searching for. But no one listens when I say a planned successful life gives me peace. And, may I also add that most of these same chronic haters of me would change places with a happily fulfilled woman who is happily married but has her own fulfilling life outside of just being someone’s Mrs. These self-righteous miserable women get so much pleasure out of bad mouthing me but they watch successful women on television, a person they obviously haven’t meet, and look at them longingly while saying, It must be nice. It is nice and I feel that they should have made better choices and TARGETED THE LIFE THEY WANTED. I believe happiness and fulfillment in life comes from doing things that make you feel complete and when you are doing those things we are also taught that “these things” will provide for us. How can you encourage me to do what I want in life and then when it provides all the trappings in life you suddenly deem me as shallow? Well, I think everyone who settles is stupid. We live once and I plan to target every day toward the life I want. I am targeting things that are of a good reputation, things that last, high quality things, things that will open doors for me and my future children to create a great name for myself beyond “Mrs.” I expect more.
Now I was not completely silent during this exchange but I was forced to listen, take notes and think. I thought of the five women who were closest to me while in college, I found that three out of the five are not happy with their lives. Should they have targeted a different life?
Perhaps when dating we should ask the hard questions of ourselves and the people we encounter. Frame these questions around the way you want to live and just maybe it will help you to make an informed decision before you go deeper into a relationship.
1. What do you want out of life? Who do you want to be in 5 years, 10 years?
2. What are your religious beliefs? How important is your faith? Do you have a fear of disappointing God?
3. How do you plan on obtaining your goals? Dreams without plans will eventually become your nightmare.
4. Do you have a problem with me having dreams and plans for my life as an individual?
5. Can you still handle me if I don’t lose myself in you? I will support you and help you with your dream but not at the expense of losing me and my personality.
6. Do you believe that parenting is a shared responsibility?
7. How important is charity work and giving to you?
8. What’s your ideal neighborhood, social position?
Prior to the Women’s Liberation movement and culture, these are the questions a father would have asked a perspective groom or suitor as they were called. He would inquire deeply into a young man’s background to determine if he was suitable for their family.
Could this young lady be perfectly right in her approach and maybe we are angry with her because she has the courage to do it since 21st-century dating guidelines have removed dads from the equation? Could her female peers be simply jealous because she’s trying to ensure that she doesn’t end up living an empty life that she and her saintly ideas walked into willingly? Maybe we should allow people to target the areas of their life that they refuse to compromise on without judging them. Perhaps we should all do the same.
With Love & Prayers
First Lady Lynda