Losing Sight of Our Surroundings

With numerous deadlines hovering over us each day, it is easy to get lose sight of our surroundings.  We complete one deadline and quickly move onto the next one.  This is also true for goals and dreams.  We work feverishly to accomplish a goal or achieve a dream only to find another with the next one being bigger and better than the last dream or goal.

hiking trailBecause our energy is closely attached to reaching that goal, dream, or deadline, we tend to overlook the process of achieving it. We lose sight of our surroundings and miss the journey. If we keep our eyes locked on the destination, we tend to skip the flowers along the way with their blossoms bursting with life. We may miss the scent from the forest mingling with the mist from an April rain. We push our senses to the side thinking that we will be happy once the goal, dream, or deadline has been attained – once the destination has been reached.

 

Redirecting Beyond Me

I had a race a few years ago that a girlfriend decided to run with me.  There are two things that keep my stride moving whenever I’m racing. The first is the finish line. The second is how fast I can reach that finish line. Since my girlfriend was returning to running, I knew I had to push those two thoughts aside and focus on my girlfriend and not the finish line.

We positioned ourselves in the middle of the huge crowd anxiously waiting for the race to begin. The horn blew and off we went slowly moving with the pack. Soon the sea of runners began to spread out allowing our stride to lengthen and our pace to quicken. I noticed that my girlfriend was breathless as she tried to keep up with me. I slowed my pace to match hers. Soon we were at comfortable speed, and her breathing became steady and control allowing her to talk rather than gasping for her next breath.

During the race we chatted and waved to the enthusiastic supporters that lined the course. Before we knew it my girlfriend and I were approaching the finish line. The cheering from the spectators grew louder and louder as we got closer to the finish line. I could feel myself returning to my ingrained habits as my pace accelerated knowing that the goal was just ahead. My girlfriend went back to matching my friends runningpace and panting. I snapped my attention back to my girlfriend encouraging her to continue and letting her cross the finish line first.

The Journey not the Destination

After the race, my girlfriend gave me a sweaty hug and apologized for slowing me down. I returned the hug letting her know that the race was not about the destination but about the journey.  It was about the time we spent together.  That race was one of my favorites because I turned my attention to my girlfriend and our time together rather than myself and the finish line.