I’ve had many thoughts swirling through my mind the past few weeks, and the one common theme that continues to come back to me is…
It’s all about perspective.
Here’s an example. About 2 weeks ago, my husband and I were talking about getting healthy. We discussed our desires to be healthier, to eat right, to exercise, to set a better example for our children, and to take care of the bodies God has given to us.
My next two weeks involved eating better and taking my vitamins. While I have many excuses (and could come up with as many as I need), the bottom line is that I have not committed to exercising. And, while I have lost some weight, and do feel better, I need to make that commitment. All that said, I do feel like I am currently making better choices in my life, and setting a better example for our kids, so I feel good about where I am at. I can improve, but I feel good. I am committing to living healthier. My perspective.
My husband also made a commitment. His commitment was to diet, exercise, and lose weight. You might think that is the same thing, but here’s where I see the difference (again – It’s all about perspective). When he chose to eat poorly, or to not play basketball for exercise, or he missed his vitamins, or the scale didn’t change – he didn’t feel good. He seemed to feel bad. When we talked, he sounded like he had failed, and he sounded defeated.
It’s all about perspective.
He didn’t seem to be able to see the benefit of the two weeks when he did eat well, worked out, took his vitamins, and saw a difference both physically and on the scale. His mind was focused on the two days when he chose different behaviors.
Why do we do this?
Why do we focus on the results and not the journey?
Why do we need to focus on the results at all?
And, what happens when we achieve the result – does that mean that our journey ends?
In this scenario, let’s say we reach our “ideal weight” or our “ideal BMI”, does that mean we get to pig out on junk food, stop exercising and live like sloths?
In my opinion, part of the challenge is our perspective. It seems like we are always striving for something. It’s not the journey, it’s the destination.
I want more money. I want a better job. I want a bigger house. I want a nicer car. I want to be skinny. I want to be stronger.
I want… I want… I want…
So, what do we do? We strive for that result. We lose focus on the day to day, and our focus becomes that result. We miss out on the lessons in the journey, because it isn’t about the journey. It’s about the result.
And, what happens when we achieve that result? We find a new want – and we focus on that. Or, worse yet, what happens if we don’t achieve that result? We focus on what we missed. Why did we miss that? Why couldn’t we commit? Why are we such failures?
What if we could completely change our perspective? What if instead of focusing on a single result on which we will succeed or fail, we start to focus solely on the journey? If we can unpack the “why” we are so focused on that result, and once we find that – let that be the focus of our journey.
For example, instead of focusing on dieting, focus on living a healthy lifestyle. Not focus on the weight on the scale, instead focus on making better dietary choices. Instead of looking at each individual choice as another opportunity to fail, look at the totality of the choices and see the positive changes that were made compared to the prior decisions.
This might seem like a small thing, but it is so hard to do. I see it repeat itself over and over again. In so many of my conversations this week, I have talked with people who felt like failures because they missed a very tiny window of a result. And, I think this is part of why we lay so much additional pressure and stress upon ourselves each and every day.
We strive to do something, to achieve something, to be something. Why can’t we just be proud of who we are? Why can’t we focus on the positive changes and be proud of what we have accomplished? Not in a boastful, ungrateful, all about me way – but in a present, grateful, prayerful, focused on the improvements for a greater purpose way.
There is a quote by Les Brown that says… “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
My question now is… Would we be happy if we missed the moon, but still landed among the stars? Would we even notice that we were among the stars or would our focus be on our missing the moon? Are we ever satisfied?
1 Timothy 6:6-8 (GNB): Well, religion does make a person very rich, if he is satisfied with what he has. What did we bring into the world? Nothing! What can we take out of the world? Nothing! So then, if we have food and clothes, that should be enough for us.
And, we should be satisfied. God has provided all that we need.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (GNB): For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.
So, while I believe it’s all about perspective, how do I change mine? How can I focus on being present through the journey so I can learn God’s lessons instead focusing on the specific result of which I will succeed or fail? I haven’t figured that out yet. But, knowing the problem is the first step to finding a solution.