We’re at the Jersey shore with for the week with our daughter and son in law. They rented a beautiful house on the beach – amazing views, fresh air, and a great boardwalk. The entire boardwalk is about 2.5 miles – perfect for a walk to get in my daily, much needed exercise.
My goal is to walk a 4 mph pace. And walk for 1 hour. Yesterday I set out and was determined to reach my goal. No problem. One hour later, I’d covered four miles. This morning, I set out to do it again. It was early, the beach is beautiful and empty this time of year. It was just me, my IPOD, and a desire to complete four miles in 60 minutes.
I’m focused. I’m going to get this done. I’m listening to Les Brown on the IPOD – ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE! And when I get back to our beach house I go to the kitchen and as I’m drinking some water I stare out the window at this incredible view. And I realize during the entire four miles, my eyes were on the boardwalk, on the steps in front of me, and I missed the entire view of the ocean.
More than surprised, I saw that I often am staring at the place just a couple of feet in front of me – missing the bigger picture. How could I be staring at an old boardwalk when the ocean is crashing on the shore and showing me its magnificence and beauty?? (Pretty easily it seems!) And certainly the greater message for me was that the boardwalk v. the ocean is just the metaphor of my life’s focus.
Both views were continuously available. And the one that kept my attention was at my own feet. What am I learning?
- This boardwalk is old!
- Many boards have worn out and need to be replaced
- One area of the boardwalk looks exactly like another
- If I just look down at my feet, I have no orientation of where I am from the view
- It’s flat and after a couple of miles, boring
- Looking at the boardwalk boards, I could be anywhere in the world
When I look UP, what do I see?
- Interesting shops, all closed until the memorial day weekend
- Buildings and homes that are for rent, but currently empty
- A few people running or walking who for the most part are looking at THEIR feet!
- A magnificent ocean with more wonder and mystery than I will ever comprehend.
- A beautiful sky with screeching birds who happily circle for no reason that is apparent to me
- How very small I am in the world, but I am here
- I can see my goal of where I’m headed (to the end of the boardwalk) and exactly where my goal lies in relation to where I am in my walk
Looking down does not serve me! It gives me no perspective! And it’s fairly boring. After this revelation, I looked up today. What a difference. And my walk of an hour went faster than the last time I walked yesterday.
Look up ‘face your goals. Whether it’s two miles ahead of you, a goal of making the client call today, or something greater – a larger goal that will take many steps – many days – many moving parts. Imagine what happens when you clearly look at your goal – not just stare at your feet plodding along knowing you’ll reach it soon.
Enjoy the journey – but notice where you’re gazing. See you on the boardwalk!