Setting aside one’s goals in the pursuit of on that is greater, of more significance, does not necessarily mean abandoning said goals. According to former adviser to President Barack Obama David Axelrod in his book “Believer: My Forty Years in Politics,” the President supported gay marriage personally, although chose not to publicly in an effort to advance his political career. There are many instances where he clearly stated opposition to gay marriage throughout his early years running for both the Senate, as well as during his first bid for the presidency.
Eventually coming around on this issue, going through an evolution on the subject, Obama affirmed that same sex couples should be able to get married. Regardless of what his true feelings had been throughout this period, the pragmatism practiced to set aside personal feelings on an issue and directly oppose one’s own opinion to further the greater good should be emulated.
Whether working menial jobs one despises to make ends meet while pursuing a degree, or paying lip service to what a boss says to avoid problems down the line, taking a practical approach to life can yield great rewards. As Obama ultimately did come to support and advance gay marriage, so can anyone further their own goals and ambitions once they are in a position to do so effectively.
Take a look at the bigger picture, and figure out the best route to take in life to accomplish what you desire. A goal-oriented approach to life, like using a map when traveling, provides an easy method for reaching the desired terminus of one’s journey.
As ancient Chinese poet and creator of Taoism Laozi wrote in the “Tao Te Ching,” “The tree which fills the arms grew from the tiniest sprout; the tower of nine stories rose from a heap of earth; the journey of a thousand lie commenced with a single step.”
Climb the ladder of life one rung at a time; each time one moves up that which is out of a reach above becomes that much more attainable. Rarely is anyone lucky enough to attain all their hopes and aspirations, and even more rare are those who meet all their goals. One’s time on earth is finite, and having a plan for that time will offer a better chance for greater success in the end. Nothing shall result, and the best laid plans sometimes go for naught, if such plans are not put into action.
Persia poet Saadi wrote that “However much you study, you cannot know without action. A donkey laden with books is neither an intellectual nor a wise man. Empty of essence, what learning has he whether upon him is firewood or book?” Knowing what is most important makes such plans all the easier to make; setting aside that which isn’t necessary now allows for greater focus on what is.