Friday Thoughts: No Thoughts

white clouds on the eastern horizon

No thoughts today. Just going to the backyard this weekend and watch the day go by. Everyone now and then it is okay just not thinking and pondering the world and its troubles. To remember that you live in an amazingly designed world.

Enjoy your weekend! Be safe!

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Friday Thoughts: Focus

While on my morning commute I walked past a Jeep with a license plate brace that said “Keep On Target”. My first thought was of Star Wars and the attack on the first Death Star. It made me smile as the movie started playing out in my head. However, my second thought was “you drive where you are looking at”.

Now this thought gave me a pause.

My mother and father have both told me this when I first began to drive. My driver’s ed teacher and instructor both told me the same thing. Wherever you look on the road, that is where you are going to drive.

This same logic can be applied to life. If you look towards success, that is where you are going to drive towards. The same with interests. If you like sports and you look at sports, that is where go to. Poetry, art, engineering, or chemistry. If you focus your attention there, your mind and body will head towards that direction.

By the same token, you can drive yourself towards some bad things. Hatred. Lust. Envy. Self-pity. If you keep “looking” at those kinds of things, that is where you will end up.

Recently I have been thinking about all the mistakes I have made and people I let down over my life. Of promises broken and disappointing choices. Of people I hurt. But where is my focus? In the past. And the only thing that happens when you drive towards the past is looping in a circle. You cannot go forward when you are driving in a circle.

Letting go of the past is not easy. Some of my memories still carry weight and power. The sting of regret or that pang of hurt is still fresh. I am slowly learning to let them go. To remember the lesson but not letting that moment hold me. In some cases you may have to forgive someone. Not necessarily telling them but letting go of that hurt. In some cases you may have to ask for forgiveness. No matter how awkward or painful that admission will be.

And in some cases, you will have to forgive yourself.

Driving forward is not forgetting your past. It is not avoiding the consequences of your past. It is not letting yourself stay in the past.

Friday Thoughts: Heroes

In recent years, Marvel has produced movies and series of humans and beings with great powers and abilities. DC has done its best to keep up. Some were born. Others were given a choice. And some were forced.

It is interesting to think that Marvel and DC are merely the latest in the long line of hero worship. From the ancients and their demigods and humans blessed with powers. Great epics are based around individuals who are cursed with abilities or granted them. But why do we have such an interest in the heroes? And why do some of us have an interest in the villains?

And I wondered, why humans have such an obsession with heroes?

Than I heard the song Something Just Like This. If you haven’t heard the song, it is basically a man saying that he doesn’t feel like a hero. His girlfriend turns to him and basically says that she isn’t looking for a superhero.

Now granted a love song does not explain the whole hero-love we have.

But it does touch on a hidden desire. We all want to be the hero. That person who doesn’t need anyone else. That rushes in with powers. That person who is more than average. Special.

I know I have at times wanted to be the hero.

Two things though that proves to me that we don’t need powers to be the hero.

One

First. By being alive, you are impacting people’s lives. Regardless whether you want to impact others or not. You will influence them. Your actions and choices influence the path of the person next to you. Not just at the dinner table or at work. But on the train. In the grocery store. At the next gas pump. Most of the time our presence will have a very little impact. The results of just being strangers. However, your reaction to someone. The way you talk to the other person. Or a kind act versus a cruel act. Each person you meet might be on the brink of breaking. Of falling apart. But your choice can give them a little more hope. A little kindness to bring them hope.

Two

We can’t move through life by yourself. No one can. We need at least one other person to help us get through the rough spots. For my closest friends and I, we share our burdens. Some days I help them. Other days they help me. Heroes are also who give of themselves. A few years ago, a bomb was detonated at the end of the Boston Marathon. As the chaos ensued and the injured began crying out, what did the participants do? Did they run? Did they say, “No. I don’t have the energy”? Some probably did. But others did not. They stayed and helped. Other heroes are people who choose to put themselves in harm’s way to protect others. The police. The firemen. The father defending his family. The mother working long hours to put her children through college.

So I will leave you with this:

Heroism comes not from one’s abilities but by their choices.

Friday Thoughts: Dreams and Longing

black and white photos of old, rusty rails disappearing into a forest.
It has been so long since I took photos for myself! So glad to start doing that again and improving it!

Good morning! Today is yet the start of the Weekend. Depending on where you work, I either offer my good wishes or good luck.

Today I want to talk about having a dream. Or a goal if you will.

If life is like a train on rails then stations are either life events or reaching goals.

In my short life span I have come to the conclusion that there are three kinds of dreams. The first is the most obvious. The Life Goal. A dream that will take your entire life to reach or will be a part of your life for as long as you life. Often times these are community-based or something that is personal but will impact society. In some cases these dreams are part of your very existence. Part of your soul.

The second kind, to me, are Milestone Goals. Something that we all have to one degree or another. Buy a house. Get a job. Get that degree or promotion.

The last kind is the Bucket List. These are just little “I want to do” but if it doesn’t happen, no biggie. For some it is sky diving. For others it may be swimming with dolphins. Who knows. These little dreams come and go. Some keep a list. Or you are me and just forget about it.

I am sure you know that one person who not only has a goal for their life but are well on their achieving it. Or already reached that goal. Or they know what they want to chase after or have a dream. Many times those dreams are lofty and a great boon for the community. Such as becoming a teacher or working with a non-profit organization.

But maybe you are more like me.

I don’t have a clue where I want to end up in ten years. Or that dream you’ve had since being a kid seems out of reach now.

For me, it was hard. When people ask what my goal or my dream was I would say “I don’t really have one”. Or if I was ashamed of this little fact I would say something typical and falls under the ‘Milestone Goal’. Get a job. Pay off loans. Stuff that are a goal but not my goal. Not my dream.

This morning I listen to one of my favorite CDs of Celtic/Irish/Scottish music. And I my heart was a thousand miles away on the shores of a distant isle that I have never seen with my own eyes. Or have walked its earth. But my heart still wanted to go there.

I realized in that moment as the song came to its close that I had this little desire for as long as I remember. Go to Ireland.

It may not seem like a big goal or one that is selfish but it is a dream that has stuck with me for many years. Sometimes it is louder. Other times it is a lot quieter. Some days it seems possible to do it. Other times it might as well be Pluto.

This morning I decided that I will chase after that dream.

And if I am going to chase this dream then I need to figure out the steps to take it. So far I have the following:

  • Research how to travel the world
  • Save money
  • Get passport
  • Find a place to stay in Ireland
  • Find a way to get to Ireland
  • Find a way to get back from Ireland

It may not seem much as a start but it is a start.

And maybe that is what you need. Just start working towards that goal.

Maybe you haven’t even walked up to the staring line. In that case, I say just go and do it.