“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
In the pursuit of always moving forward, it’s sometimes easy to forget to appreciate where we are. Always thinking about the next big thing; about how successful tomorrow will be; about how much we want to finish the current project we’re on so we can progress ever forward to accomplish the even larger goals at hand. I fall into this trap frequently, because I live by the mantra to keep moving forward so as to not regress back into the person I was before. As with most everyone else, I want to perpetually be better than I was yesterday, which of course, is not a bad thing at all. I am blessed enough to forge ahead in the quest towards my goals by following my passion every single day, so appreciating the moment seems like something I am doing. In reality, though, I am simply moving as quickly as I can so as to not miss the next opportunity to climb my ladder of achievement.
This past weekend, I had the chance to slow down (without really slowing down) with a few friends and appreciate the city I live in. I am happy with the way I live each day, and I feel as if I am on the path to making a difference in the way I am called to. However, this weekend I also realized that moving forward in my professional ambitions is only a piece of the puzzle. While Keep Moving Forward permeates every facet of my life and I truly live what I preach, I came to see that I am shortchanging myself in only exploring the world from behind my microphone.
While on a 24-hour “Questival” around the city of Atlanta, I found myself on top of Stone Mountain (somewhere I hadn’t been since I was a kid) with two of my best friends, grasping at the reality of just how small I am in my own city. I remember my freshman orientation at Oglethorpe University (where I would eventually meet these two guys) and our Dean of Students gave the following opening remarks: “Where you came from, you were probably a big fish in a small pond. What are you going to do to make yourself a big fish in the big pond that is Oglethorpe and Atlanta?” That always stuck with me, because I never wanted to simply be good enough for the environment I found myself in at any given time, I wanted to be the big fish in whatever size pond I was thrown into.
Standing on top of Stone Mountain on Saturday morning, I reflected on those words I heard more than six years ago now. It helped recenter my focus and realign my vision into seeing the success I hope and pray is ahead. Had I not stepped out behind my microphone and explored this weekend like I did, I doubt this peace would have been realized, for I would have just kept forging ahead like I always do…like I try to instill in others to do.
My core tenant still is and always will be to keep moving forward through life’s obstacles, transitions, and difficulties, but sometimes we just need a little change of perspective. If you’re like me, you probably don’t even realize you need one. You know you are doing what you are called to do and you are proud of the way you live each day, but this endless pursuit can become dangerous if your routine leads to complacency. Not that you aren’t progressing in a real and effective way, I mean that maybe you don’t even realize you need a change of venue to actually open your eyes to see, wholly and completely, what’s possible.
When things are going their best, I would venture to guess that’s the time you need to step out of your comfort zone and find a view you’ve never looked at before. Gain some new perspective and fall in love with what you discover.