As we approach spring each year so much of our nation emerges from a long, cold winter. With the time change that accompanies the move into spring, the longer evenings afford all of us the opportunity to observe a later sunset and quietly reflect on the challenges of the day.
In the busyness of life, we often fail to take a moment to reflect on where we have been and briefly remind ourselves on where we desire to go in order to build our energy to continue the journey. The longer evenings brought on at this time of year support the chance for some meaningful reflection during those sunset moments.
As we continue on our personal journey to build and strengthen our character, there is an opportunity with longer evenings and those upcoming sunset moments to reflect on day to day happenings and also on the big questions about what we desire to see in the years to come.
The Book of Proverbs says, “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.”
Real world experience and academic research would reinforce the importance of determining clear goals and specific plans to achieve those goals in order to make meaningful progress on any endeavor. In addition, psychologists would describe something called “purposeful imagination.” Basically, if we can clearly see ourselves achieving those goals, emotionally feel what we would feel like in achieving those goals, we build strength to endure the inevitable challenges we will face in achieving our goals.
We hear a great deal about “vision” and “purpose” statements for individuals, families, and organizations. These are very powerful tools to focus effort and rally a group to a cause. Many times, with the effort to hang a vision statement on a wall, we fail to reconnect consistently to that statement and over time, our direction drifts off course.
There is a significant opportunity to use the long, slow quiet of a sunset to reflect on where we have been and where we desire to go, both tomorrow, and in the long journey of life.
When we take the time to look forward 5, 10, or 20 years, what do we see?
What is the state of our closest relationships? Do we see relationships that have endured the inevitable ups and downs and continue to strengthen a mutual commitment to each other? Do we see children that are productive members of the family, the community, and the workforce? What is the legacy we leave behind to those that matter most?
What is the impact we are having over the years?
We all should work to develop the habit of making time in the quite of a sunset moment to reflect on the big questions. Take a walk in the park, sit outside, or just briefly look off in the distance during a slow period of a child’s practice to see what we truly desire to see in the years to come.
As we take the time to reflect on where we have been and where we desire to go, we will build energy to persevere on our journey and we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® for us to not only see the future we desire, but make meaningful progress towards achieving it.