Monday, June 27, 2011

Soul Surfer

(Forgive me for posting this so long after the fact--two months ago!--but the thoughts are real and fresh as I review them today and will hopefully touch you.)

I just returned from watching the movie Soul Surfer with my 10 year-old daughter and a bunch of her friends.

I am not in the business of reviewing movies, in fact I am in the business of delivering perspective and motivation to help people make changes and live their best life, but this movie nailed a couple of elements that are key components to Bridges To Your Best.

 The first thing that hit me hard was this young woman's calmness as she had her arm suddenly ripped off by a great white shark that changed her life forever in an instant, but not the way you might expect.  There had to be already present a deep sense of calm about who she was making her way in the world.

Despite the enormous internal and external changes that come from a physically-transformative injury like this I am amazed that she had the perspective to change her view of things.  Rather than get angry and close off the world, she learned to reach out with one arm physically and her whole soul emotionally to embrace others with love.

Despite her physical challenge she went to Thailand not long after the incident to help others deal with and recover from the horrific tsunami.  On this trip while helping others she lost herself and found herself on the same trip.

I am amazed at the lack of whining and feeling sorry for herself.  Yes, I realize it was a movie but it was based on true events and I was actually pleased to see that she wasn't an emotional robot but rather that she and her family actually did indeed struggle with how to deal with this injury.  The key thing is that they all stuck together and fought through the unfamiliarity of what to do and made it to the other side of discomfort.

I am also struck that I have this internal desire to be an example to others and I often think how I would react to a dramatic challenge in my life that I would have to recover from.  Of course I don't seek out activities or circumstances whereby I might lose an arm or have the chance to survive some dramatic situation.  But then I realized that many, if not all, of us will lose a limb metaphorically in our life.  Lost job?  Divorce? Death of a loved one? Addiction?  We may not have a movie made about our lives but we have the chance to impact the most important audience of all: our families and friends.

When will we get there?

When we set off on a run, a ride, or a trip, knowing the answer to the question, "When will we get there?" is key.  This information allows us to know when and how much to refuel, rest and refresh.

When we set off on a goal to better our self--increase our fitness, build or repair a relationship, grow wealth, etc.--rarely do we know ahead of time exactly "when we will get there."  This is because these goals have naturally vague end points and sometimes it is impossible to know just how far away--or how close!--our destination really is.

How about this?  Instead of focusing on the destination so much why not focus on the journey?  And, importantly, don't cut short the journey until we have reached the destination.  If we learn to enjoy the journey we won't want to stop anyway and reaching the destination, i.e. accomplishing the goal, becomes the natural, happy result of consistent, focused work along our way.

Get on the road today and let your journey begin!