175 Days ’til 40: Stepping Back to Move Forward

30 Aug

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ~ Steve Jobs

If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Tonight was another board meeting, the same routine (I almost said monotony, but the truth is the meetings tend to be very productive, sometimes exciting, and not monotonous).  Yet, although it was the same, it was different.  One very wise board member stopped our planning for the year.  She encouraged us to take a step back and re-evaluate what we are doing and why before we start planning for the future.  She was 100% correct.

Most people will find that they live their lives in reactionary ways.  We take each day as it comes and have short-term goals, rather than long-term goals.  Our need for instant gratification has greatly impeded our ability to look past a future a few seconds before us.  If we can muster the self-control to delay gratification long enough to reflect, we find that we discover deeper levels of meaning and satisfaction.  Reflection takes time, it takes emotional energy, and it takes the courage to be honest with oneself and others.  This is not easy.  Yes, when we pause and reflect, we find that it opens doors to tremendous personal growth.

Today we took a step back as a group and decided to reflect before we act.  I wish that life afforded us more opportunities to do so.  In our fast-paced world we too often find ourselves in reactionary modes, instead of contemplation.  This needs to change.

Today, 175 days ’til 40, I will strive to remember to reflect before I act.



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22 responses to “175 Days ’til 40: Stepping Back to Move Forward

  1. buckwheatsrisk

    August 30, 2012 at 00:10

    i’m contemplating…

  2. Long Life Cats and Dogs

    August 30, 2012 at 00:14

    All very true. I think that cell phones, internet, etc has increased our “instant gratification” syndrome. We now expect everything to happen quickly, without hard thought. Want to know something, google it! No need to find out the hard way, through research and trips to libraries. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s not that I don’t love it but I do feel our new gadgets are making the phenomenon worse.

    • 400daystil40

      August 30, 2012 at 20:42

      Yes, that is so very true! I often say the same thing.

  3. 1smiles

    August 30, 2012 at 03:27

    A very thoughtful post, thank you.

  4. Tess Ross

    August 30, 2012 at 10:30

    I love this. It is a timely reminder for all of us …

  5. viveka

    August 31, 2012 at 01:59

    I think we should take a step back … more often then we do .. and give us time to think and take a time to rethink – give us time to look at things differently. We sometimes rush away .. without thinking – we rush after so much … work, gadgets and life itself.

    • 400daystil40

      August 31, 2012 at 21:32

      Yes, it is so very true…. we get caught up in the rush and we actually miss life and living in the process.

  6. Another Thousand Words

    August 31, 2012 at 17:39

    How can we know we’re doing it ‘right’, if we don’t look back to correct our ‘wrongs’?

    • 400daystil40

      August 31, 2012 at 21:28

      very true – sadly, I look back and find I am doing quite a lot of it wrong… 😦

      • Another Thousand Words

        September 1, 2012 at 00:18

        Yet, 400, in the meantime, you (and I) take the time to realize what ‘went wrong’…keep up the great work…and have a safe holiday weekend!

  7. simon7banks

    September 2, 2012 at 22:24

    True. But Steve Jobs seems to be saying it doesn’t matter what you believe in as long as you believe in something. I’m a great believer in there being many ways up the mountain, but sometimes ways don’t lead up the mountain at all. Himmler would have agreed with the Jobs quote wholeheartedly.

  8. Spider42

    September 3, 2012 at 12:17

    Amen to that last part… If only life allowed us better chances to stop and smell the roses and to gain perspective more often.

  9. sued51

    September 5, 2012 at 17:46

    Good post…love the Steve Jobs quote…looking back at the decisions we have made helps us “connect the dots” and understand ourselves and what we value moving forward…


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