(Un)common Sense by James Veloso
(Un)Common Sense

Life Goals

Feb 10, 2023, 12:02 AM
James Veloso

James Veloso


Forgive me for being a bit too personal here, but my birthday, you see, happens to fall this week. Let’s just say I’m one year shy of reaching the 30’s – that period when everyone would tell you that you should’ve settled down.

But what the heck do we mean by “settled down”?

If you ask the so-called “tanders,” or financial “experts,” or even your own peers, settling down means you should’ve gotten married, bought a house or some household appliances, gotten a job that would ensure financial security. And, oh – when we meant financial security, that would mean also investing in stocks or getting life insurance.


People, I’ve noticed, had a habit of setting down the goals that they have in life – at certain periods in their life. I’m guilty of that as well.

Nearly nine years ago, when I was straight out of college, I had already formulated a sort of timeline of the things that I would’ve achieved in my life. Get a job. Pay my duties to my parents. Court that girl I had my eyes on since high school. Maybe even step into the literary world and become the next Ricky Lee or Bob Ong.

Fast forward nine years – and here I am, news editor of one of Laguna province’s major weekly newspapers. I had joined OpinYon nine years ago, straight out of college, thinking that I would leave in a year or two – yet somehow, I’ve stayed. Love life? Well, all I can say for now is that, you know, there's some things you can't achieve in your life. I have decided to let the issue pass and let fate take me to whatever it deems is most appropriate for me.


The truth is, that we really don’t have control over what would happen to us in the next year or so. Heck, we couldn’t even predict what would happen to us in the next day or even the next hour, right?

I believe the reason most of us feel “underwhelmed”, “underachieved” or “burned out” by the time we reach our 30’s or even 40’s is because we tend to see these timelines and goals not as guides but as mandatory requirements for us to pass.

Yes, life is an ongoing examination, but unlike school, there’s really no set timeline for us to finish our papers. Life is an ongoing process of education – we learn new things, we learn from our mistakes, we learn from our experiences. Honestly, there’s no requirement for us to finish this task or goal by the end of the day.

One of the most important lessons life has taught me is that the best way to cope with things is to take it one day at a time. There’s no real rush for us to achieve our goals. In fact, the less we obsess about reaching our goals and focus more on enjoying the little things in life that make us smile, we could reach our goals sooner than we may expect.

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