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I Can’t Wait to Be in the Moment…?

September 13, 2013

“The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”

– John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

 

I’ve been waiting all year to be in the moment. Stupid thing to wait for, right?

It’s officially been one year since I’e been in “the real world” now, and one of the most important lessons I’ve learned – and only begun to apply this week – is this:

We only have one chance to live each day, and we only have a limited number of days

You have to take every day as an end in itself, and you can’t wait for things to happen for you.

I’ve developed a vision to go after since I’ve been here, but I spent the last several months waiting for it to happen – at times I was running from it out of fear.

But life doesn’t work that way. Just because you have some place you want to be, doesn’t give you an excuse to avoid the present. The future is dictated by what you’re doing in the present.

You can’t write a book all at once. You have to do it one day at a time, even if there seems to be no end in sight.

A few weeks ago, I heard someone say at Imago Dei, the church I attend, “I want to be who I say I am.”

Every moment, and every action is sacred.

I decided this week that I want to be done with quick fixes. They leave you empty in the long run, and they just leave you wanting more, and more, and more. That’s how blind consumption works. You smoke a cigarette, and immediately want another – not out of satisfaction, but more out of disappointment that the cigarette wasn’t as fulfilling as you wanted it to be. Same with aspirin, and so on.

People who are great at what they do understand this. Peyton Manning never takes a moment off. He prepares tirelessly in the moments where no one’s watching, so when people are watching, he’s ready. He understands that every moment wasted during the week is a chance for the defense to get the upper hand on him on Sunday. In order to do this with the dedication of a Peyton Manning, you have to love and focus on what you do, not on the results. And sure, he has his off games just like we all have our off days, but he almost always responds the next week with one of his better games.

It cannot be the success, money, and recognition we strive for in our work. Those things are like cigarettes, they give immediate pleasure, but they’re cancerous down the road. When our goals are success oriented, we begin to develop the traits that Steinbeck describes above that we “detest.”

The cost of wealth is THIS.

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