Part 2: Looking to 2011
I read this quote today at work: A goal without a plan is just a wish. How very true that is! The Bible says that “where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18).” It was next to impossible to have a vision for my life in 2010. I didn’t know who I was or where I was going. But I see 2011 as different. I was able to rediscovering who I am in 2010 and now can focus on growing and moving forward. I love the Disney movie Meet the Robinsons. The theme throughout the entire movie is drawn from a quote by Walt Disney himself:
Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.
Notice he doesn’t say, “we don’t look backwards”. I think Disney understood the importance of looking backward. But he also emphasizes that dwelling on the “backward” for too long can be dangerous. I try to practice looking backward as much as possible, but can slip into the dwelling a bit too easily! I am very much the analytical when it comes to life and how I live it. There are times that I should let go of that and just exist. My roommate, Dave, and I have talked about this a lot lately. It is good to just “be”. “Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).” That’s the first component of my 2011 vision…
- Be. I don’t need all the answers. It is ok for me to wait and to be a patient person. This past Sunday at church, the pastor made the comment that we Americans are not patient people. NO WE AREN’T! In a time of instant gratification, from microwaves to On Demand TV to instant Starbucks Via coffee, we want things now. But is that good for us in the long run? What about the potential job opportunity or the potential relationship? Are those things that are wise to rush and make happen quickly? I do not believe they are. So I look to be better at “being” this time next year than I am today.
- Understand who I am. Self awareness is important to me. Professionally, relationally, creatively. Again, I want to learn and grow and become a better me. But to do that, I have to know where I came from and where I am. Then I can determine where I am going. Last year, I talked a lot about something called the “resole process”. It is a little thing that I came up with to help me grow. (See posts on Resole, Relive, Rethink, Resolve, and Renew.) But self analysis is only one element to what I see as a three part equation. The second one is for me to understand how others see me. Not just those close to me, but those that see me in a variety of settings. At work, at church, on Facebook, etc. The perception of others is an important part in self awareness. The last element to the equation is God’s perspective. And this is the most vital and important one of them all because He is…well…God. He knows me better than I know myself. After all, He created me! And gaining His perspective requires time invested in my relationship with Him, through study, prayer, times of quiet, and by listening to those around me. I see the three part equation as being interconnected to a certain degree. And the equation can definitely help me understand myself better.
- Savor life more. Life can be like the tri-tip steak I had at Christmas. Packed with so much flavor that your taste buds are begging to savor. Rush the meal and you miss out on the full experience. That is how I want to live my life in 2011. I had a taste of it in November when I went to New Mexico on business. Never in my life have I seen such breath taking scenery. Everywhere I turned it I saw something new and beautiful to take in. I want to savor life with all five senses this year…to taste, hear, feel, see, smell and enjoy every bit of it that I can. Even the pain that pops up can bring about colors of life that were not there before. Through the death of my grandfather, I have reconnected with my brother in a deeper way. I love this quote from Charles Swindoll: “the greater the struggle to surrender, the greater the surprise.” The full benefits of an olive are not brought out unless the olive is crushed and its oil is extracted. The timeless hymn It Is Well is a beautiful but never would have happened if not for a series of traumatic events in the life of author Horatio Spafford. My point is that the good and the bad can work together to create a wonderfully rich life that is like a perfectly grilled steak or a tasteful glass of wine. It is all meant to be savored.
I hesitate to put any more goals before myself as I see these to take a lot of determined effort and focus to pursue. I like them all, though, because they are shifts in how I think and look at life.
So to you and yours, have a 2011 full of life and love and whatever else may come your way!