Vantage Points

“Live your life each day as you would climb a mountain.  An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.  Climb slowly, steadily, enjoying each passing moment; and the view from the summit will serve as a fitting climax for the journey.”          ~Harold V. Melchert

It’s much easier for me to become focused on a result rather on a process.  Whether it’s reading a book, working on a project, learning to play the bass, or learning to use new software, my mind easily slips into thinking primarily about the completion of these things rather than enjoying the process of coming to the completion.  While it’s good to be focused on a goal or outcome, I think it’s also important to enjoy the process of getting there.

This year I started learning how to play the electric bass guitar.  I’ve been at it about 8 months now and I’m not very good.  However, I am MUCH better than I was at the beginning of the year!   It’s encouraging when I stop and think about what I know today that I didn’t know a few months or weeks ago.  Stopping to enjoy my progress makes me want to keep working to get better.

If I were only focused on the end goal of becoming a good bass player, without considering the significant progress I’ve made, I’d be rather frustrated right now.  And frankly, I’d likely give up.

If there’s something in your life you’re working to achieve or become, be sure you’re taking time and enjoy the vantage point from the progress you’ve make thus far.  It will encourage you to press ahead.

Taking It In

I was looking forward to viewing the solar eclipse that made its way across the United States earlier this week.  The experience was far beyond my expectations.

It’s hard to put into words just how awesome, beautiful or surreal the scene was.  From the first glimpse of the moon beginning to cover the sun to the main even of the total eclipse and diamond ring, it was an event I will never forget.

Before the big day arrived, I decided I wasn’t going to take any pictures during the 2 minutes of the eclipse.  My thinking was there would be plenty of other people capturing the moment, who had much better photography skills than I possess.  Instead, I decided to just watch the event and take it in.

I made a good choice.  It was nice to be totally in the moment without distraction.

While taking pictures is a great way to capture a moment, at times, I think the best way to preserve a memory is to give an event, or person, our undivided attention.  Not every event or occasion requires we reach for a device to take a picture.  Sometimes, all we need to do is just take it in.