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Regardless of your aspirations in life, if you miss the journey, they aren’t worth it.

This morning was absolutely gorgeous…but so are a lot of other mornings. I wonder how many I’ve missed? I mean, obviously I was breathing so I didn’t miss them in that sense, but how many days in my life did I miss the moments of beauty around me on a gorgeous morning? How about you? How many beautiful mornings have you let slip by without taking a few moments and cherishing?

I have become (didn’t start out this way) a highly disciplined person. My freedom comes from my disciplines. I have the freedom to eat what I want, because I have discipline in health. I have the freedom to do what I want, because I have discipline in how I use my time and the way that I work. It’s ironic isn’t it? That discipline is a path to freedom.

Anyway, my normal weekday morning goes like this: I get up at six AM, swallow some supplements and leave for the gym by 6:15. I have quiet time and prayer time, workout, and do all of my spiritual and personal development reading, and am back at home by around 8:45 most days. I walk in the door, drink a protein shake, change into different sweatpants or shorts depending on the time of year, make my breakfast, and let the dog out, in that order. While I am eating I finish the rest of my planning for the day, do some journaling and creative thinking, and every couple of minutes yell outside to let my 8-year old Collie (Conor) know that I am watching him so he won’t attempt the great escape…which he attempts every month or so just to see if I am paying attention. Then I take the rest of my supplements and get moving on my day.

This morning I was doing my normal routine, but it was such a pretty day that I ate outside on my back deck for the first time this year. This is normal practice for me from late spring through mid-Fall, but the weather has not been conducive to it yet this year, so today was the first time. So as I start eating and reach for my planner, it dawns on me just how beautiful the morning is. The birds are chirping, the air is crisp, the sky is blue, and the sunshine on my face feels glorious. I set my planner and my journals aside and my entire being was just dancing inside “yeah baby.” This is what life is all about. Moments like this. For the next several minutes I just soaked in the beauty of the day. The emails, phone calls, blog, meetings, and various projects that were all in front of me for the day were relegated to the sidelines for several minutes. They would still be there when I was ready to address them. They are of course the practical stuff (the steps to reach the goal) that I do in my journey. The journey to impact a million lives. But these moments I was relishing and cherishing? This is the geography of the journey. The fiber of the journey. The life in the journey. This is the pure joy in the journey. For me, I have chosen a goal and a vehicle that is joyous in the practical stuff too…most of the time (nothing is joyous all the time that requires effort, stretching yourself and working with others). So my practical journey is awesome, as can anyone’s be if they don’t settle (this is another topic for another day), but the moments in time are there for all of us if we stop and take notice.

It is cliche to “stop and smell the roses” but it is also true and imperative to have a life of high quality. The moments of achievement are few and brief regardless of how good you are or successful are you are. It is the space in between the beginning and the achievement that the life happens, that the character is built, that the memories are made. Yes, triumph is splendid…but so can falling short be in truth, because in either case we had all the space in between. The tragedy is when we lose sight of life while we pursue the goal…this is failure. Not a poor result…this is practice:-)

My entire being was just dancing inside “yeah baby.”

If you aren’t smelling the roses and cherishing the moments, you might want to consider making some adjustments. You might look at your planning skills, your prioritizing skills, and assess what the cost is to you of not participating in the real fabric. You can have a life of abundance in all areas if you plan it right and work it right…but it doesn’t come by accident, especially for the goal oriented. I want you to have the heights you aspire to, but I want you to have them along with a life that is full. For success with emptiness is no success.

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