Wednesday, September 21, 2011
A Vision for the next Decade
"Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year -- and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!" --Anthony Robbins
As I was thinking about time management this past week I came across this quote and can't stop thinking about it. How true that I try to do everything in one year but don't value the process of all I could accomplish in a decade. It is particularly profound as we look to this next decade as a time we do hope to accomplish quite a bit. Much more than we could ever hope to accomplish in one year. And as we look at each year separately it doesn't really look like we will be accomplishing much in any one given year. But put them together and a decade from now John will be a practicing Physician's Assistant, we will have paid off our debt and I will once again be a happy homemaker.
Why didn't we do this when we were younger? Why didn't John go to school 20 years ago instead of now half way through our working years?
I have been thinking about this and I have come to realize it is all about vision. We just didn't have the vision to accomplish such a long term project 20 years ago. We had the vision for what we wanted from life but didn't necessarily value the steps necessary to accomplish those goals. We wanted instant success and an instant life. We had the enthusiasm for the moment but lacked the vision to see something through long term.
My mom, who is just full of quotable quotes, often says, "you can't skip steps". So true. When we were younger we just didn't value the process. We wanted to get to the end not realizing the end was only of value because of the process we went through to get there.
Success is sweet and sweeter if long delayed and gotten through many struggles and defeats.
-Amos Bronson Alcott
I have learned over the past 20 years that, “Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.” --Louis L'Amour. One victory at a time. One step at a time. When we were younger we wanted to rush into adulthood. Wanted to rush into our career, family life, and financial success without taking the steps necessary to accomplish our goals. We thought we had forever to plan for retirement and so cashed out our 401K's whenever we left a job in our 20's. Then we thought we could build wealth quickly in our 30's and read lots of real estate books that assured us of that truth. None of them mentioned the bubble bursting on housing values. Finally at 40 we have come to see the real truth.
"Studies indicate that the one quality all successful people have is persistence. They're willing to spend more time accomplishing a task and to persevere in the face of many difficult odds. There's a very positive relationship between people's ability to accomplish any task and the time they're willing to spend on it." --Dr. Joyce Brothers.
I must admit that while I feel very enthusiastic and optimistic about this task before us right now I am also very fearful. We are at the beginning of a long process. 3 months into my working and 1 month into John's schooling we have barely scratched the surface of this very big task ahead of us. A year from now we will have only just begun, we will be far from finished. Will my enthusiasm and vision for this task still be as strong?
"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use." --Earl Nightingale
One of my big lessons from Kenya is to be present in each moment without worrying about the next. I try to remind myself of this in the busy and overwhelming tasks of life. Be present at work, be present with my family, be present in whatever task I am doing or whoever I am with. I think as we go through these next 6 years that will be my focus, not looking at the 6 years but at this moment. What am I doing in this moment? What is God accomplishing in my life or through me right now and how can I join Him?
Rather than spending the next 6 years only looking at the end goal and getting frustrated with how long it is taking to get there I am going to try to sit back and enjoy the ride. Enjoy this first transitional year not being involved in any outside activities but just enjoying the family. Looking into the next few years to see where God will turn my attention and allow me to invest my time and enjoying the process of life and the victory that comes with long term accomplishment.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.--I Corinthians 15:57