This weekend, I spent a bit of my Sunday outdoors…totally unplanned. I visited a beautiful river close to my home then I drove a bit further and did a bit of hiking to an old tower used a very long time ago by fire officials for observing the country for fires. The view from the tower was breathtaking but getting to the top wasn’t so easy, as I’m somewhat afraid of heights. As I approached the tower, I was not sure if I would have been able to pass the first flight of steps. I stood under the tower and looked up, asking myself…can I do this or should I simply walk back down. After coming so close, I knew I needed to make an attempt, so I held on to the sides and I began climbing the staircase. After climbing two flights of stairs, I decided to stop looking down. I kept my eyes on the step in front of me and I kept on moving. With one flight of stairs left to reach the top, I sat down. At this point, I was at least 150 meters above sea level and Martin asked if I wanted to stop and go back down, or just keeping going up. I just couldn’t turn back…I was literally 12 steps away from the top of the tower. While sitting there waiting to get to the top, I thought about how many of my goals I gave up on in life, how many I was so close to accomplishing yet I turned my back on them because I was too scared to push to the top or things got in the way, I even thought about my desire to live in London. Now it’s wise to assess our goals ever so often to make sure they still fit in with the overall plan for our life, so I’m not a firm believer in following through with every single goal set. I know it’s also important to realise when something is no longer for you. Looking at each step in front of me and focusing only on that until I get to the top also reminded me that focusing too much on the final outcome and not taking time to appreciate each step along the way can cause me to fall off track. After sitting and thinking for a bit, I got up and I made it to the top of the tower. This was a great accomplishment for me. From the top, I could see more than half of my country. I will be honest…I didn’t spend much time up there but for the brief moment I stayed, I felt a great sense of accomplishment for making it all the way to the top.
Last night on my way home from work, I stopped at a traffic light for a brief moment. Shortly after, a guy on a motorcycle pulled up alongside me. As I watched him wait, I remembered that time in my life when I desperately wanted a motorcycle, I was so carefree and sometimes reckless, that excitement was my main motivation for a lot of choices. As the light changed, I watched him speed off into the night, or so I thought. I eventually met up with him at the next intersection. As I watched him wait for the light to change, I couldn’t help but wonder what was all the speed about. Despite the fact that I calmly drove to the next intersection and he rode his motorcycle so quickly I lost sight of him for a while, we both ended up at the same junction. I have felt over the past year or so that I’ve had to keep pressing forward with such vigour, persistence and immense focus, going from one goal to the next and I’m slowly starting to realise that it’s ok to calmly pursue my goals. It’s as if I’m telling the Universe I know I’ll be there eventually or I know I’m going to accomplish my goal one day, so there’s no need to rush. Sometimes in life we think we need to be moving so quickly to accomplish the things we want. We keep moving from intersection to intersection, accomplishment to accomplishment, only focused on getting to the next point, that we hardly take time to notice what’s at each intersection or milestone. This is actually a form of ingratitude, which is not in harmony with Universal laws and can eventually lead to sadness despite how much one has accomplished. Take time to notice your intersections, your milestones, your accomplishments and be grateful for each step. Gratitude is the key to happiness and one cornerstone to accomplishing more in life.
Happy New Year to All and I hope you’re having a great start to 2015. As 2014 was ending and I started to make some plans for 2015, I found myself at a quandary with respect to certain decisions I needed to make. Decision making is one of the hardest things we have to do both personally and professionally. Some of my medium and long term goals were placed on hold in 2014 and I started to adapt to my current situation a bit and forget about some of my goals. However, as the cosmic would have it, help was on its way.
I came across some information about a process for decision making called “10/10/10” by Suzy Welch, a business writer for publications such as Bloomberg Business Week and O magazine. Welch describes the system in the book 10-10-10: A Life-Transforming Idea.
To use 10/10/10, we think about our decisions on three different time frames:
- How will we feel about it 10 minutes from now?
- How about 10 months from now?
- How about 10 years from now?
The three time frames provide an elegant way of forcing us to get some emotional distance from our decisions and helping us to focus on what may be important in the future. With less emphasis on the current situation, a decision may become more obvious. 10/10/10 forces us to shift our spotlights from the present, asking us to imagine a moment 10 months and 10 years into the future with the same “freshness” that we feel in the present. It’s not that we should ignore our short-term emotions, because often they are telling us something useful about what we want in a situation but it’s very important that we not let our emotions control us.