This is an unplanned second installment of a personal memoir that I began in last week’s post. I am writing to you, my friend, but at the same time, I am writing to myself. I know you will benefit from it for the same reasons that I am benefitting from it. As I learn to live more authentically as the person I believe God created me to be; I hope to help you do the same.
This week, I want to talk metaphorically about driving slower through life. This sounds easy, but I can tell you for me, and for just about everyone that I have the pleasure of interacting with, it is not. In fact, I spent most, if not all, of my adult life speeding through one thing after another. Granted, I checked a lot of things off of my “To-Do List,” but I stunk at taking time to check out my surroundings.
I have never had the opportunity to ride in a race car. I understand it is one of the most exhilarating things you can ever do. My closest experience was riding in a Maserati as a teenager on the Autostrada in Italy with a friend. I seem to remember we went around 175 MPH (however that converts to kilometers) for a short period of time. My reason to revisit this event is to share that when you are going that fast all you can do is look straight ahead. To look to the side for even a split second will very likely produce dramatically poor outcomes. And even if you could, you likely couldn’t see anything passing by that quickly.
While none of us will be driving on the Italian Autostrada anytime soon, don’t we all at times get caught up in rushing from one thing to the next? Of course, we do. This problem only continues to get exacerbated with the onslaught of technology and gadgets that clamor for our attention.
Unfortunately, many of us are stuck on our highways for long periods of time. Not even just years, but decades. We check the mile markers off the list as we whizz by them, thinking if we can just get to this exit or that destination, we’ll be able to slow down. But we never do. Our desire for significance gets overruled by our adrenaline rush to achieve another short-term success.
I am learning, my friend, that this frenetic lifestyle only ends in frustrations, disappointments, and unrealized dreams. I bet you can relate to exactly what I’m saying. What if, instead, we stopped notching the mile markers and started noticing the milestones? What if we focused on creating abundant experiences instead of seeking abundance for ourselves, i.e., what can we get? Experiences defined not by our own joy but by the joy of others.
This is the life I have found recently, and I want to invite you to join me. It’s not perfect. When you open yourself up to live authentically, you may get rejected at first by people who have become accustomed to you living inauthentically. Especially those who are closest to you. That does not mean it is not worth the effort.
Your happiness will turn to joy. Your hopes and dreams will turn to actions and accomplishments. Your desire to benefit yourself will be replaced. You will find yourself wanting to bless anyone and everyone you can. This is what I am learning. This is the gift I have discovered, and I want to share it with you.
At this point, I am sure many of you are thinking, “this sounds great, Eric, but have you looked at my calendar for the next few days, weeks, months, and years?” No, I haven’t, but I have a pretty good idea what it looks like because I am sure mine looked a lot like it for a few decades. So, below are three tips I believe can help you begin to discover some margin, some free space, to take a look out the side window of your “car” and look at what’s right beside you.
Obviously, I could write an entire post around each of those suggestions, and I may very soon. For brevity’s sake, let me simply challenge you with an idea or two for each to get you started on the right road to create milestones in your life.
Think about what kind of information you are feeding your mind. Is it pure? Is it uplifting? Does it inspire you to move towards the person you want to become? What needs to change to limit or eliminate the negativity while increasing the positive inputs you read, watch, and listen to?
Intentionality is so important. We tend to seek the path of least resistance when the truth is we need to resist anything that takes us off the path of successful living. Every day, we can choose to sweep things under the rug or bring them out in the open. Exposing things can sometimes be painful, but not nearly as much as trying to clean them up weeks or years later. Be intentional in every action and interaction.
Finally, accountability is a key tool to employ to help you on your journey. Let’s be honest, we all know what we need to do, but often we never seem to get around to it. I cannot encourage you enough to find someone to help you on your journey. It is amazing what you will accomplish when you know you have someone who will hold you accountable. This accountability partner can take many forms or titles, but if you pick the right person, they will show you how to transform from simply being present to being engaged in everything you do.
I can help. I love to have conversations with people to learn about their accomplishments and their struggles. I have a discovery call-template I use that allows you to identify where you are now versus where you desire to be in the future and how to identify and close those gaps. I open up my schedule for two of these calls each week. They last about 50-60 minutes, and they produce powerful, life-changing results. You can schedule your complimentary call here or email me (Eric@Eric-Harrison.com) to request a different day or time, and I will do my best to accommodate you.
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