A friend of mine will be getting married soon to a woman from another country. He’s known this person for 6 years and this Wednesday she’ll arrive in the United States for the first time. My friend has been telling me how excited he is to have her in the US and to share in all the new experiences she’ll undoubtedly have here. What he’s most excited about are the small everyday things that seem insignificant to most people, but which will be brand new experiences for her. He can hardly wait for her to arrive.
I love how he is able to look at his daily routine with fresh eyes. What has been “the norm” for him, he now sees with newness and anticipation. He has encouraged me to look for the newness in my own routine as well. To notice what I may be over looking. To be aware of people, places, or things that I’ve become so used to that I hardly notice. I’m encouraged to look at my own life with fresh eyes.
How about you? What areas of your life hold potential to be seen anew? There is likely plenty in your life to get excited about. We only have to look for the newness in what’s already there.
The longer I live, the more I realize that any change I’d like to see in my life is largely up to me to make happen. Whether it’s the quality of my health, relationships, career, finances, spiritual growth, or any other aspect, I am the catalyst needed to spark the change I want to see.
I am the one that needs to take action; the one that needs to cause something to happen. There is no one I need to wait on in order to start making changes. All I need to do is decide it’s time to take action… and then take the action I know I need to take.
The same goes for all of us. We are not prisoners waiting for someone else to hopefully act on our behalf. We are the greatest force behind, or the biggest barrier in front of, moving from where we are to where we want to be.
All we need to do is begin moving in the direction we want to go.
“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” ~Psalms 73:28
I love this Psalm. As part of my morning routine, I repeat it as I’m stretching out after my workout. There’s no magic in merely repeating these words. As a Christian however, these words remind me where I want my focus to be as I go through my day. They’re like a compass, in that they help get my day pointed in the right direction by affirming my commitment to God.
I think it’s important to have a simple routine that gives our days focus and clarity. This routine could consist of something like reciting sacred text, listening to an inspiring song, looking at an encouraging picture or view, or any number of things focus your day in a direction you want it to go.
The important thing is to intentionally set the course for your day, versus letting chance, circumstance, or others set it for you. It’s your life. Direct it where you want it to go.
Early in my career I was testing some software updates we received from one of our vendors, when I noticed that there was some functionality that didn’t work exactly the way we needed it to. The vendor explained that the software was not designed to work the way we wanted it to, and provided a clunky workaround we could use instead. Me, being new to the information technology field, accepted this answer. My colleague Tracy, however, did not.
Tracy told the vendor specifically how we needed the software to work and let them know that anything less was unacceptable. I was shocked a couple of weeks later when the vendor released another updated that included Tracy’s fix… exactly as she described it!
That day I learned the importance of speaking up for what you want versus simply accepting the first “No” you encounter. Up until that moment, I thought you got software the way it came. I had no idea it could be changed to fit our unique needs instead of the other way around. That experience was a great life-lesson that taught me not to settle for the first “No” I receive, but to push for what I want, whether in my career or my personal life.
I am grateful for Tracy’s example.