A few years ago, at $dayJob sales kick off, the motivational speaker brought in to do one of the keynotes asked a participant to do a standing long jump. Then, to jump further than his first jump. Then he said, don’t aim for the first line, or the second, aim for the wall. He was very supportive and encouraging that this fellow could reach the wall. He didn’t, of course, but he did jump much further than he did with either of his other two attempts.
A few months after sales kickoff, I was in the Heritage Warplane Museum with my family, waiting for my son to take his Oath of Enrollment in the Canadian Air Force. As I wandered around the museum, and I saw a sign:
It struck me as important enough (despite the grammar atrocity. Sorrynotsorry, I can’t stop myself.) that I took a photo before I left the museum that day. Maybe it’s OK to settle, but maybe you want more than that. So how does one jump for the wall in our daily dailies? You have to know what’s in your way. And sometimes, that thing is you.
Fast foward. A friend sent me a devotional from Pastor Rick: The Giants Between You and Your Dream. He writes about delay, discouragement, disapproval, and doubt as the obstacles between you and your goals. I put that in the Lent Project Incubator. But I dunno. It’s easy to be discouraged. And when your mind is already whispering mean things to you, disapproval and doubt are waiting in a shadowy corner to jump you when you’re already wobbly. Gathering your skirts around you and deciding that Discouragement, Disapproval and Doubt are jerks takes some serious effort. My rational brain says that if you’re feeling discouraged, find the voice – yours or in someone else – that says You got this. And be that voice for others. Avoid being discouraging to others, and bonus points if you can avoid being discouraged yourself. But that’s *hard*. You have to repeat it and repeat it and repeat it until the exposure to it helps you to believe it. Same with Disapproval – if someone else has failed at the thing you’re about to try, they’ll tell you that you won’t be able to. That it’s simply not possible. This is where having the forethought to take pictures of signs in museums comes in handy. And the thing is, a goal is never achieved, right up until it is. Maybe you ARE the person to carry it over the finish line. And the whiny youngest sibling: Doubt. If someone you trust makes you doubt yourself, maybe they’re right? They know stuff about stuff. But maybe you’ve got something they don’t. And if you’re the one with experience on your side, don’t poke holes in the vigor of someone else’s plans. Just don’t.
So, a final thought to to inspire us on our way:
There is freedom waiting for you,
In the breezes of the sky
And if you ask “What if I fall”
Oh, but my darling, What if you fly?— Erin Hanson
This Lent, may the threshold of what I’m capable of not be limited by the things I know I can do.
I’ve created landing pages for the last 2 years of Lent Project. You can access them from the Reflections Projects option in the menu bar. Happy reading, friends!