On a recent trip to Chicago, I wanted to see the sun rise over Lake Michigan. As soon as I woke up, I opened the blinds. Beautiful shades of orange and pink were a perfect contrast against the bright blues and waves of light over the water. I enjoyed the view so much that I reached for my phone and took a picture.
As I looked at the photo, I reflected on my routine at home. How many times do I acknowledge the sky’s beauty before I start my day? How many mornings do I take a moment to appreciate the awe of my surroundings, no matter how familiar? Typical mornings begin with me slamming the snooze button on my alarm clock. Instead of looking out of the window to acknowledge beauty and appreciate awe, I rush into the day and jump into my routine.
This reflection is not unique. Many of us are rushing from one location to the next or jumping from one responsibility to another. It takes removing ourselves from what’s familiar to understand how our focus on the mundane causes us to not only lose sight of the larger picture but to forget that the big picture even exists. Somewhere during early adulthood our attention shifts from making a better life to simply getting through the day. We go from building a future to simply maintaining. We live, but aren’t fully interacting with life.
Daily responsibilities take up mental space, yes, but how much of your life is determined by the decisions you are not actively making, because you are not intentionally engaging life?
Giving all that you have to simply get through the day leaves you with little energy for discovering your next goal, and even less energy and awareness for achieving it. When your mind is filled only with grocery lists and errands of one day, there is little thought to making lifestyle changes to enhance the rest of your days. Simply put, getting stuck in routine minimizes your likelihood of reaching for more because focusing only on mundane details blurs your vision for greatness. Life, your life, deserves to be fully stretched, expanded, and intentionally designed. You were not created to “just get by.” Your life was was purposed for exploration. You were purposed to evolve.
You deserve the same daily recognition and awe of the miracle of a sunrise because your mere presence is a miracle. Open the blinds. Stir up your life. It’s time to recognize and appreciate the beauty that exists around you and that includes the wondrous beauty that exists within you.
Image: Floyd Rocker