On those rare occasions when I find myself driving through ‘home territory’ and I need a bit of encouragement to put me back on track, I have a favorite road I travel down. It’s a narrow black ribbon of a road, not meant for public travel, although it gets plenty of it, with mega-homes on either side of the road. Cross walks are slightly elevated, and there are stop signs at each crosswalk, whether there’s a road crossing or not. I’d stopped at every one, until the last one, with a clear view of both directions, I slowed to see if there was anyone coming and was going to let it roll, until I spotted a runner coming full speed. I stopped. The front of the truck was a bit past the stop sign, but not into the cross walk, when I stopped.
The runner stopped in front of my truck and put both hands on the hood, looking straight at me.
The windows were down on the truck, the top was open, and I said, “Sorry. I should have stopped earlier.”
He grinned and walked around to the window to say, “Hello.”
He leaned on the window ledge and I handed him a bottle of water – I had mine, opened, and another still sealed. Not cold, but cool. And water.
He said, “Thanks, how’d you know I needed that?”
And we talked a bit, sitting at the stop sign.
Endurance – finding the motivation to keep going even when you really need to stop. You feel like you’ve run the race, but you’re not finished. You have to keep going. The endurance to continue is important. You may be done, you may be tired, you may NEED a break, but finding the motivation to keep going until the job is finished is more important. Endurance, finishing the task.
Passion – more than just doing what you love. When you have a passion for what you’re doing, you go the extra mile, find strength you never knew you had, and you’ll recognize the right things to do – to make a difference. Your passion will carry you, when every other form of motivation has stopped cold, your passion will carry you across the finish line. Use it.
Positivism – overcoming the negatives with words, actions, and emotional affirmations that build you up, keep your energy high, and improve your mindset to keep you in the moment. This is the source of your energy in the morning, the power of your dreams every night, and the biggest resource you can have as a person. Your ability to capture the positive in the moment will carry you through those moments that might otherwise sink you.
Balance – knowing when it’s time to take a break. Mental breaks are important, and beyond the work you do, your ministry, or your career, the things you do with family, for fun, or with friends will change your life. Take time out to laugh and enjoy the world around you. It’s important to know how to have a good time, and to balance out your efforts with relaxation.
Inspiration – understand what inspires you… Do that often. Whatever it is that inspires you to be creative, to work toward your goal, to make the effort required to accomplish your dream, realize your vision, or acquire your desires – Do that. Finding your inspiration should be the one thing you do every morning when you first get up, and keep doing until you close your eyes to sleep at night. NEVER stop doing what inspires you.
Time Management – you have the same number of minutes in your day as everyone else on this planet, use them well. Don’t waste your time, but do use your time well.
Story moment –
A good friend asked me one day why I take naps… Don’t you think that’s really a waste of time?
I said, “No. A nap refreshes me, and makes me more ready to finish up the day and get things done. Naps are not a waste of time if that’s what I need.”
She said, “I never take naps in the middle of the day, I just think it’s a waste of time.”
We went our separate ways for several years and when we next met, she said, “Remember that conversation about naps? Well, I take it back. I take a 15 – 30 minute nap every single day – I plan it, because my brain functions better after I give it a rest.”
And that my friends is true… Whatever keeps you awake, alert, and moving toward your goal is beneficial – even if it’s a nap.
Use your time well. Make a plan and stick to it.
Determination – when all else above this fails, and you still have work to do, find your determination and get it done. Hopefully, you set that out above and beyond all else when you started working toward your goal, the determination to finish it, to reach your goal. Because determination is the one thing that you control, completely. If you decide you can do it and do what it takes every single day, your determination will carry you through. Do it.
So… he finished the water in one long guzzling drink, a 20 ounce bottle, and put the lid on it and handed me back the empty bottle.
“Thanks, Lady.” He grinned. “I really did need that drink. I never carry water when I run, and sometimes, I should.”
Then he said something I didn’t expect to hear — because I’ve been away from that neighborhood most of the last three years.
“I’ve seen you around, driving through before. Do you live around here?”
“Not recently, I used to live over the hill and this was on the direct path, off the highway to home, so I drove it all the time. Now I just drive this way for a mental break, catch the sunsets, and I love the houses in this neighborhood.” I reached in my bag and grabbed a business card – they’re always handy – and handed it to him. “I live in the Springs now, and was on my way home from dropping off my grandkids.”
“I don’t have a card with me…” He mused, taking my card.
“No worries, you have my contact info – in case of any injury,” I grinned, rolling my eyes for good measure.
He laughed, “And you’ll know who I am if I call.”
“I’m sure I’ll recognize your voice, but give me your name and I’ll definitely know who you are.” I nodded.
“Not even requesting my autograph?” He asked.
“Nope, it’ll be enough to say I tried to run you down with my truck as you jogged through the streets of Cherry Hills.” I laughed and we parted.
As he stepped over the curb on the other side of the road, he said, “You’re going to blog about it?”
I said, “Yeah, I’d post your picture with it, but I haven’t taken one.”
I could hear the laughter as he jogged away. If he reads this, he can leave a comment. Name dropping isn’t my style!