Tag Archives: Life

You Have Sight, But No Vision

“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.” – Helen Keller

Lately, I have been struggling with something in my personal life that seems so obvious, yet, I’m not finding the solution anywhere…. So a wise person said to me, “You have sight, but no vision.” … Rarely, do words cut me to the core so quickly. I am the Queen of rationalizing, and anyone can pretty much give me any critique or criticism and I can turn it on its head to a positive for me or figure out how to be right in almost any particular situation . Yes, this is a defense mechanism, but I’ve learned over the last 6 months to be more introspective especially when receiving advice from wise and caring people. So let’s go back to what they said:

“You have sight, but no vision.”

Now in a textbook Eye Doctor definition, “Eye sight is tested through one’s ability to see images up close and far away” (source“The term “vision” however, encompasses the idea of eyesight but goes a little bit beyond it.  Eye care doctors check to see if the eyes are working in sync” involving things like focus, convergence and depth perception.

So let’s be a little abstract here, when you only have sight about something in your life, you take it at face value, and you just run with it. But what about your heart, your gut or intuition, do you listen? Because sometimes what we “see” in life is based on a misperception or a missed-perception.

So let’s take a moment, and check our vision. What area in your life lacks vision?  How about your future? Is there are a part of your life where you lack vision and your heart, mind, body and soul refuse to work in one accord, practically fighting each other to keep you at a stand still?

I’ve been there. I’m currently stuck in a few areas in my life with no vision, trying to find my way out of a hole.

So can we live if we only see the things in front of us and don’t perceive the deeper layer or what’s in the shadows? Of course, we can, but do you want to? It’s so easy to be fooled by our eyes. We can become so addicted to getting what we want and not realizing there’s more than meets the eye. (Sorry not sorry, pun intended) .

So let me put in some personal context:   

When I started this blog, three years ago, I lacked vision. By pure will and boredom, I wanted to write, figure out social media and numb my senses due to some mistakes I had made that completely changed the trajectory of my life.  Writing gives me a joy that I never thought I’d experience  again after not pursuing my first passion of dance after graduating from my performing arts high school. Writing has basically become my special power that I didn’t know I had nor did I know the role it would play in my life. To be honest, I am still not 100% on what it will look like for the rest of my life,  but sitting here, and twiddling my thumbs, because from what I can SEE, all I have are serious doubts about doing this. No one really likes my blog? What if I offend someone? No one cares, seriously.  Pretty surface level stuff.

I’ve written in several blogs about my apprehension in writing. Am I writing for me, writing for others, and to put it quite frankly, writing for the stats, the views of the general public. Those three things are hard to balance, and I’ve probably only mastered it once on my own personal blog. I usually accomplish it more when I write for someone else.

This is (or was) the first problem.

You can’t find your vision when you’re looking in the wrong place. Even people with the best intentions can fool you, when you’re not creating a vision for yourself, you get lost. Soon after I start blogging, and every time I talked about writing, someone was always asking if I could write for them. Initially, I was flattered, but I was in the midst of finding my vision, I got distracted looking in places that weren’t for me. I wrote some amazing blogs, but I had to get off this train or I would never find my vision.

So I have decided to write for me from here on out. Not that I don’t want others to read and enjoy my work, but I started Missing Perspective to share my point of view. But things began changed. As a social commentary writer, it’s crazy to think about how different America was just three years in the political landscape.

This is (or was) the second problem. Change. Be ready for it. Your vision cannot be expected to live in a vacuum. Our two eyes can catch a lot of action, in the vision for your life, there will be surprises. Life ebbs and flows. As the political landscape changed, something I love to write about, I found myself scared. It feels as if people, for the most part, only try to read and listen to opinions of like minded individuals nowadays. Our country is so divided it seems there are only a few places of common ground when there should be so much more it. So I made excuses about why I couldn’t write this or that, because things have changed, but I wouldn’t enjoy a world where topics were recycled over and over. I wasn’t prepared for change… and preparation is key without it a vision will fizzle and die. 

And of course, the most important piece, and where my biggest growth over the last few months  is focus. If I find myself looking in the right place, seeing the full landscape (depth perception), expecting change… there’s only one step left. The most important step.

To simply focus on the task at hand. To allow yourself to zoom in and zoom out to get just the right picture, to see the full view….. and create your vision.

I am ready…. Are you?

Feel free to share you thoughts below in the comments, or tweet at me here with the #vision

Take the Time and Use a Timeout

Timeout

“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.” Thomas Paine

Self- Evaluation

Self-Discovery

Self-Reflection

*yawns*

Are you one of those people who likes reading self-help books? Or the kind of person who takes hours during the week or month to stop and think about how you can do things better or become a better person?

Well, this article might not be for you.

There are people who don’t like to read self-help books, either by choice or because the busyness of life, they don’t stop and reflect (and by they, I really mean we, because I am guilty as charged) ….This post is for you.

For me, I am guilty of being a true energizer bunny, and my goal is to just keep going and going and going…. Rarely, do I stop and take breath or pause for a moment to reflect.

And you might ask, ‘Don’t you ever sit and think about what you are doing’… yeah, if I make a mistake and feel some type of pain or regret. But unless you’re in a constant flow of pain and regret, you can go weeks and months without looking back and thinking of how you are getting from A to B. This is me. To truly sit back and self-reflect on life, you have to be intentional, not only for yourself, but for those around you.

In the past, I was piling things onto my plate and  avoided this much needed self-reflection. But earlier this year, I found myself complaining and irritable, and I began to question whether I was really happy. I am naturally a glass half-full, extreme optimist, who LOVES Monday. So when it felt like every other sentence out of my mouth was negative, I began to see that it was affecting those around me. I knew something was wrong.  But, I didn’t quite know how to stop my normal way of life.

I was used to it. It was familiar. Unfamiliarity is not cool. Sort of.

But despite my resistance to this idea of changing my natural flow of life, I had enough people around me telling me that I wasn’t crazy, and that maybe a switch-up was exactly what I needed.

So 4 months ago, I significantly reduced my involvement in a lot of things which opened my life up.

More time to write. More time to sleep, and to be quite frank, more time to myself. At first, I didn’t use this time wisely at all. I was still a little reluctant and there was no reflection occurring. I filled it with other things, mindless things, so I thought I was making progress, but I knew that wasn’t my purpose. I quickly reminded myself that I needed to be intentional and do something different that was going to help me.

The purpose was to stop and reflect, and after about 3 months, I finally am getting the swing of more alone time, saying no, and developing new skills. As I began to reflect more, there were some things that I am surprised were going on in my life and others were exactly the way I thought they were.

The biggest area in my life that I needed to take a look at was leadership. And boy, am I learning a lot. I am a big proponent that leadership skills are innate, and that you can’t teach people how to be good leaders. But people can learn how to be better at leading and if they are willing to learn. I think I am natural born leader, but I probably haven’t learned anything new about leading. I needed to have a seat.

As of June 1st, 2016, I hold zero leadership positions for the first time in my life in over 15 years and I am loving every minute. I made this decision back in February when I realized, that for more than 15 years, I was in some capacity leading a group of of youth or adults in some way. I was like I have to stop. I was right, I am following, and learning so much more about being a leader than I have in the last two years.

It is important to learn that although you are capable of leading, allowing others to lead you and absorb their knowledge is a part of the process. If I didn’t stop to smell the roses, I would be missing out on some important nuggets that not only will make me a better leader, but ultimately a better person for those around me. I am learning a couple of other things along the way:

  • Patience – I need more of it
  • Discipline – I need more of it
  • Listening – I need to do more of it

The last point is clearly something that I was vastly aware of. I am always trying to talk less and listen, but taking the time to step back and see how I was behaving. I need to make this a reality, what’s the point of knowing you need to fix something and not improving it. Therefore, I am intentionally listening more.

I noticed that I needed more patience and discipline in almost every area of my life. I needed to build a little stamina in both of these areas to be a little better and a little more productive. Although a product of the millennial generation that is in love with instant gratification, this doesn’t change the fact that some things take time and you have to work hard to achieve your goals.

One goal in particular is becoming healthier. Waiting for pounds and inches to drop is the slowest process known to man. But what is the rush? I find myself trying to cheat or expedite the process, cut corners, only to my detriment. Not only did I realize I needed to improve this about myself, I couldn’t do it alone. I have felt discouraged and down on myself a number of times. The trainers have coached me, encouraged me, and loved on me a little bit, and I have stayed more committed to my health longer than ever before. When I noticed this was happening, I reflected on other areas in my life where I was lacking patience. I was able to connect some of my frustrations and identify one of the root causes to my increased complaining. This reflection has made a big impact my life in this short amount of time. So now I have opened my arms to the process on reflecting my behavior and plan to continue this self-evaluation, discovery and reflection with joy.

Why don’t you join me? Please share your experience with self-reflection.

M/P

It’s Never Too Late To Decide How You Will Live

Bill Murray.gif

“Like wildflowers, you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would” – E.V.

So this is the last week I will live in my 20’s and I am very excited about it. I never thought I’d feel this way at this stage in my life. From a very early age, people talk at length about not really enjoy getting older past 30, but I have no plans on turning 30 for the next ten years. I have learned so many good lessons, even the ones that make me cry when I think of how stupid I was or rather hard-headed, because I am sure someone gave me the perfect advice and I just didn’t want to follow it. It’s something special to learn from mistakes, maybe I am wrong, but I have always been a fan of learning. So going into my 30’s, I kind of feel like it’s the first day of school, and as I’ve mentioned before, I was excited about every single first day of school. There was no exception. For three simple reasons:

Something new…

                                                       Something unknown…

                                                                                               Something unexpected…

was going to happen. This is how I view the future, it’s still exciting and I am just a little more equipped. As I get older, life might not be easier, but if you allow life lessons to teach you, you get smarter or that’s the goal.

But I am not going to lie, all of this reflection comes at the same time as a couple of my favorite athletes and  I subconsciously feel as if we’re doing this together. My favorite football player retired this year, and it was announced that my favorite basketball player will be inducted into the Hall of Fame later this year. Yes, I am referring to Peyton Manning and Allen Iverson and there is definitely a connection here.  Trust me.

If you haven’t read or listened to Peyton’s retirement speech, you should, it’s definitely one of the best sports speeches of all time, but clearly I am biased. But there is something that he said towards the very end of his speech that resonates very strongly within me:

“When I look back on my NFL career, I’ll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my teams walk away with a win. There were other players who were more talented but there was no one who could out-prepare me and because of that I have no regrets.(source)

I am sure there are some people who would argue about his talent level, but it is very true that very few out-prepared him and because of this he had no regrets. I am sure there are things he wished hadn’t happened, but when you give it everything you got, and it doesn’t work out, you can’t help but not have regrets. And I would have to argue that is the way to live. There are definitely experiences that give me a little anxiety when I think of them, but I don’t regret them. How can I? Our experiences and mistakes make us unique, but as we get older it is harder to live this way, with no regrets. There are so many external factors, such as family and friends, society or the lack of money, status or power, telling us how to live or how we should live, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Forget the milestones you haven’t hit, who decided them in the first place.

Christians often talk about having a child-like faith, we can similarly take this approach towards the way we live with an adult perspective, and this is why I am excited about gething older. I want to approach life with the heart of a child but with the experience of an adult.

So moving onto A.I. a.k.a Allen Iverson. A few weeks ago when the NBA Hall of Fame induction was announced, Iverson did a number of press interviews and his quotes also resonated with me as I contemplated the end of my 20’s.

But before we go there, we must look at life through three phases.

Phase 1:  Budding (from the beginning – from birth, new idea or new experience)

Phase 2: Maturing (the largest part of our life – This is the part where we’re really living and the most growth happens)

Phase 3: Knowing (Experienced and the time to give back – a wise savant)

Often people think of the cycle of life, or the phases of life occur in one cycle. But to me, we go through this cycle of life a couple of times in every area of our life it seems. In some areas, I am still maturing and very far from being the wise savant that I want to be and others I have already done several cycles. This happens, because even though in some areas we have learned and grown, life knocks us back down on our feet and you have to learn something completely new about something you thought you knew a whole lot about (i.e. being laid off from a job, lost a loved one and learning to live without them, etc.)

I thought Allen Iverson described this best while fighting back tears about becoming a Hall of Famer:

“It’s hard to be a Hall of Famer, I had to fight, I fell, got back up,  fell, got back up, fell, got back up, it’s still going on in my life right now”  (source)

This is the cycle of life that is real. You fight. You fall, but you get back up. And at this point in life, I am very comfortable with living with this cliché. Because some cliques are just freaking true. More over, for those who are unfamiliar with Allen Iverson, he was known for one thing in particular, something I consider most important in life – heart.

Sports commentators we’re surprised when Allen Iverson, a mere 6’0” would compare himself to the likes of LeBron James and others in today’s league, but it was all about the heart:

“Their heart…and the way they compete… The fight in them. That’s why I would say LeBron. LeBron ain’t got none of my game, but his heart is all mine.” (source)

And LeBron only seconded what Iverson said, by stating that while he was not able to take any part of his game from Allen Iverson, he was inspired by his will:

“I watch Jordan more than anybody for sure. But I’ll watch tapes of A.I., too. I don’t take anything from A.I.. Well, I do — his will. They say he was 6 feet, but A.I. was like 5-10½. Do we even want to say 160? 170 [pounds]? Do we even want to give him that much weight? And he played like a 6-8 2-guard. He was one of the greatest finishers we’ve ever seen. You could never question his heart. Ever. He gave it his all.” (source)

So as I enter into the land of 30, I find myself with the same child-like feelings of giving it my all, even when the cards are stacked up against me, but at least in a more slightly thoughtful manner. This is why I am excited. I have learned to say no, one of the hardest parts of growing up for me, so that I can continue to be excited, and passionate for the things I love, to have time to lead with my heart. So more than anything, I want YOU to stop and think about whether you have decided to live the way you want to live or are you only living by how you think you should live. It’s never too late to decide to act differently…. don’t be afraid to fly.

M/P