When talking to people about the concept of time and heathenism I tell them that time is not truly a static thing. Its more like a flowing river. While we can look at it for an instant, its constantly in motion. Vikings are typically seen as “people of action.” Vikings were constantly doing something, engaging in some task, or “going a viking.” The virtue of industriousness ties into this. To sit and do nothing is non productive. One must constantly be moving some direction or working on some task in order to fulfill the concept of industriousness.
So how does this fit within the idea of goals that can be completed? If one completes a goal it indicates a pause. Typically when we achieve our goals we say “there, that’s done, now I can sit and rest for a minute.” If heathen philosophy dictates that we must constantly moving, there is in fact no time to stop and reap the rewards of what we’ve completed.
This doesn’t mean that its a philosophy that doesn’t celebrate accomplishments, it certainly does, and much of the ritual structure centers around that. When we look at the Sumbel with the concept of the boast round, and the picture of feasting in the long house we do see a society that truly enjoyed life. However the morning after a feast everyone was hard at work again.
So when we think of the idea of definable reachable goals, perhaps we don’t need them. Perhaps what best suits our spiritual needs are goals that we are constantly striving to achieve. They are never ending. With these types of goals we can fulfill the philosophy of industriousness that we believe in.