Last week, I had the pleasure of attending a Court of Honor hosted by my oldest son’s Boy Scout Troop. After a darn fine pot-luck dinner, came the ceremonies. A fringe benefit of being involved with a true boy led Scout Troop is that none of the adult leaders are given to long speeches, so most of the ceremony-type stuff was exactly what it should have been: recognition of the Scouts’ accomplishments.

Including my son, I know four of the boys in the Troop very well – I was their Cub Scout Den Leader. I was almost as proud of the other three as I was of my son when they were awarded the Merit Badges they’ve earned thus far, and their “Tenderfoot” rank. “Tenderfoot” is the first official rank earned by a Boy Scout. It’s the initial step towards Eagle Scout, the much sought after highest rank in Boy Scouts. Ask any Tenderfoot, and they’ll tell you this is their goal.

I was looking through my son’s Boy Scout Handbook later that night, to see what accomplishments were necessary for the various ranks that lay ahead of him, and I was a little surprised to see items already checked off on his 2nd Class, 1st Class, and Life Scout requirements pages. As I read closer, I saw that some of these items have to be done during the immediately preceding rank, but others can be completed at any time.

This made me think about goals I’ve set – and need to set – in my life. Some are short-term, like getting the garage cleaned. Some are intermediate-term, like a District-wide Scout Achievement Weekend that a couple of my crazy Scout Leader friends and I came up with the idea for recently. Some are long-term, like planning my finances to ensure my sons have no reason not to go to college. Some are never-ending (and I mean that in a really good way, by the way), like crafting the best love story ever with my lovely bride, with whom I just celebrated 15 years of marriage. Happy Anniversary, Regina…here’s to the next fifteen, and the fifteen after that.

So, my son is working on his short-term goal of making 2nd Class. But, at the same time, he’s completing requirements for 1st Class, Star, Life, and Eagle. There’s a lesson to be learned here about our goals: Short-term; long-term; in-between and ongoing…they’re all important, and deserving of our time. And it’s OK – maybe even mandatory – that we work toward them simultaneously.

What are your goals? Are you working towards completion of the short-termers, while making progress on the long-termers? What are committed to for the long haul?  Whatever they are, make them count!

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
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