A Sign Sitting in a Field: Thoughts on the Incompleteness of Goal-Setting

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A little more than twenty years ago, I saw this sign sitting in a field outside my hometown.  At the time, I was preparing to begin a graduate program in public administration at the University of Georgia.  When I saw the sign, I got a little excited.  There was some romance and color involved in its message.  What would the institute look like?  What kind of mission would it have?  What is “higher level thinking?”  

Twenty years later, though, the sign is not very inspiring.  Instead, it serves as a lesson about ambition.  As we enter resolution season with the beginning of a new year, we might do well to think about a sign sitting in a field for a couple of decades or so.  When you advertise your hopes and dreams to the public, makes sure you have the next steps in mind and are ready to act upon them.  

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