When I have a project I’m working on I like to just get it done. I have a tendency to want to work on it until it’s completed. That way, I don’t have to worry about it later and whether or not I’ll have time to do it. Anything from mowing lawns, to writing a presentation, to refurbishing a cabinet; once I start working, I want to just keep at it until it’s done, regardless of how long it takes. The trouble with this method is that when I neglect things like taking breaks to rest, I hinder my progress.
My team and I went into the mountains of Colorado. We got out of the car to climb a little farther up for a better view. The oxygen levels at 11,000 ft. are noticeably lower than that of the almost sea level atmosphere I’m used to. In fact, where we were there wasn’t even any trees because there wasn’t enough oxygen for them to survive. When I got out on that mountain I wanted to see the view at the top. I saw that it wasn’t far to walk, so I was ready and raring to go! Soon, a brisk walk winded me. I needed to stop and simply breathe for a minute.
From then on I knew I would need to pace myself and accept that I couldn’t just push through. I had to learn to be okay with a slower, reasonable pace if I was going to reach the top. I could have gotten impatient with myself and tried to climb faster, ignored the lack of air, and say that I just need to push past it. Realistically, there was only so much I could do with the oxygen provided, and trying to act like it didn’t matter wouldn’t help.
In his series on The Secrets of Great Communicators, Jeff Myers explains that when you’re doing what God wants you to, a reasonable amount of effort will be enough. But, when you’re not, no amount of effort will be enough. Sometimes trying something new or taking on a challenge can position people in difficult environments. It may seem like too much to do, but sometimes overcoming the environment is as simple as recognizing limits and changing how we do things.
My “mountaintop experience” showed me that by recognizing our limits and pacing ourselves we can reach higher heights.
//Stephen Wilson//2016 Ambassador