Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lessons From a Race: Part 3: To Infinity, and BEYOND!

Have you stopped to think?


How often do you stop to think? Not just about your job, or your house, or your friends, but about your life? Do you spend hours thinking about where you are going to be in 10 years?

Today's focus is on big picture thinking. But with a racing application. So imagine you are running a race. Let's say a 10k one, just because that is what I have a small amount of experience doing... When you are running that first kilometer, you could very well get to the marker, and give up right there. You could spend all your energy sprinting for a couple minutes, and then not have any energy for the rest of the race.

The problem? You didn't have (I didn't have) big picture thinking. This is thinking big. And for some people, this means they think about their friend's friends. For me, big picture means thinking about how something I will be doing affects me 20 years from now, or how something will affect the state, or the country over the next five or ten years. In a race, it isn't thinking about the next step, the next few steps, or even the next mile. It's thinking about the finish line, about the next race, about what's beyond the finish line. And even bigger, it's thinking about the race of life. Thinking about the finish line of life, and what lies beyond that.

So often in life, we lose sight of what is really important. We focus on the small things, we get caught up in the day-to-day operations, and forget to think about how we are going to use algebra 30 years from now. We spend so much time stressed out about now, that we forget about what is to come. But even more than just losing sight of the application, we lose sight of what is real. We are caught up in life, but we forget to live.

Finally, in my very humble opinion, I think we, as a culture, lose sight of who we want to be. We are told to fit inside the box, to have a 9-5 job, a wife, two kids, live in the suburbs, commute to work every day; a typical nuclear family. So many people forget their dreams. They forget that they wanted to go to space, or climb Mt. Everest, or go spelunking, or go skydiving. People forget what it was like to actually live their lives, and let their lives live them, if that makes sense.

We are told to do everything as unto the Lord. I don't know about you, but not living my life to the max doesn't sound very God-honoring. Seems like we're just taking the talents and gifts He's given to us, and just throwing them away. So my exhortation to you is to dream! It doesn't matter how crazy or stupid it might seem, just dream! Think of something you've always wanted to do, and do it! Better yet, think of what you want to do with your life, and do it! There is NO rule that says you have to have a boring job, or you have to stay in one place, or that you have to do anything! It's your life, so reach for those stars you've always dreamed about!

One last thought: The only limitation you have is in your head. You can go as far as you want. If you really have a dream, then start thinking about what it takes to reach that dream. Sometimes it helps to reverse-engineer something like this. Start at the dream, and think what will need to be accomplished right before that, and then right before those items, and so on, until you arrive at where you are. Lay it all out. Some dreams only take a little bit to accomplish. Some take longer. Some, could take you your entire life. Some you may never accomplish. But it's not so much reaching them, it's the journey you take to get to that point! It's life!

So go! Live your life! Go tether your feet to a rope, and jump off a bridge! Go randomly jump out of an airplane! Get a job you look forward too, and really enjoy! Drive across the country! Live your life the way God wanted you too!

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