If you know me, you know this is NOT my favorite day of the year. Summer is gone. Yes, as a matter of fact, I do love 90 degrees and sunny. And landscaping chores. And 15 hours of sunlight.
But autumn is not without its charms. Each year the "back to school" spirit inspires and motivates me. It can be a time of new dreams and possibilities, no matter your age. A time of getting back to business after summer fun.
This year, I am standing on the edge of some opportunities that have been a long time coming. How about you? Any exciting possibilities in sight?
Did I hear you say there is nothing exciting on the horizon?
I used to say that, too. It was almost a mantra for me. Then came this realization: The problem was not the horizon. It was my sight. Ouch. And Hallelujah!
Now I have a passion for helping folks see the immense potential that is waiting, right there within arms' reach. Funny how lost time/opportunity makes the present and future seem more urgent. Looking back with regret is futile, and a waste of time and energy. But there are lessons to be learned.
It was my spring of my senior year in high school. I had been accepted to Penn State. Because my high school is large, a PSU representative came to hold try-outs for the Blue Band. I had played clarinet and saxophone for 8 years - had never been told my playing was unsatisfactory. But I was too afraid to try out.
5 months later. Fall semester at University Park. Softball try-outs. I was the last player cut - in fact, my name was visible on the list but had been scratched out. The coach told me I couldn't hit fast-pitch well enough.
Two missed opportunities that shaped my days at Penn State. Please understand - I am not mired in regret. I don't do "What if" because it is unproductive. But these are excellent examples of skewed vision.
There was no good reason to avoid trying out for the Blue Band. I used to believe I had been afraid of failing. Now I believe the fear of success was even stronger. Yea, think about that...
And while the softball incident was upsetting, it was my reaction that cemented the coach's decision and the effect it had on me. I could have worked harder, learned to hit fast-pitch, attended every game, offered to be a student manager then tried out again the following year. What I chose was to not try out for anything else during my time at Penn State. I chose to accept someone else's judgment.
In each case I did what seemed to be easier/safer at the time.
Now, I know that one coach should not have been given the power to hold me down...and easier rarely equals better. That knowledge is a gift. One I am obligated to share with great enthusiasm.
What is in your sight line? What opportunity is waiting for you to grab? Don't tell me you are too old. That's a cop-out. God doesn't open doors of opportunity based on age. Don't tell me you are too busy. If someone hands you a million dollars, you won't be too busy to spend it. But what if it is a million dollar idea? Can you adjust the routine to grab THAT?
Look around. Football players are vying for an opportunity to play more. Softball and baseball players are putting themselves in position to be starters next spring.
What is in your sight line?
Retailers are preparing for the biggest time of the year. Nature is gathering its strength for winter and the impending newness of spring - yes, spring, even now.
What is in your sight line?
Are you ready to grab opportunities? Do you sense a good vibe? Or is your spirit downcast, accepting the same old life, day after day, believing there is nothing better?
Think about it.
Open your eyes. NO - open your heart and mind. Take the first chance...then the next...then the one after.
Remember these words: If you're interested in achieving success, you'll do what's convenient. When you are committed, you'll do whatever it takes. - John Assaraf
We will talk again soon...right now, there is much to do!