“Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minutes-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you focus your life in awe.”–Wayne Dyer
The Appalachian Trail spans 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine. Every year approximately 2,000 people attempt to hike the five-million-step trek, with a quarter of those backpackers completing the trail. How long do you think you would last if you counted every step just looking straight down at the trail? Never looking up at the scenery or wildlife, head down and ears back walking and counting. A day? A week? The net result is you would never make it to the end of the trail.
How often do we treat the day-to-day grind like a joyless walk on the Appalachian Trail? Getting to the office in the morning kicks it all off. You’re stuck in traffic, and the car next to you is thumping an indecipherable bass beat. What joy is there in a whump-whump that more closely resembles a migraine than any music you’d listen to? The joy could be looking over at that driver and seeing how much those alien beats uplift them. That person is dancing in their car seat with wild abandon, and you’re hacked off because their music has leaked into your space. You’ve made a choice to be the “get off my lawn” person rather than to share in someone else’s happiness.
How we walk our daily portion of the Appalachian Trail is our choice. Look down at the mud and grime of the trail or look up to see how the sky frames the landscape. You can get happy the same way you got mad; it’s your choice. Find one thing driving into work each day that exemplifies the wonderment life has to offer.
Smelling the Roses: Accelerators
- Briefly, describe how you go about walking the “Appalachian Trail” of life every day.
- What impact do you think your approach has on your perspective?
- List one improvement you can make in your perspective that will have positive benefits on your leadership, your work, and your life.
Dr. Jeff D. Standridge is the best-selling author of “The Innovator’s Field Guide” and “The Top Performer’s Field Guide.” He serves as Managing Director for the Conductor and Innovation Junkie, and teaches in the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Jeff helps organizations and their leaders generate sustained results in the areas of innovation, strategy, profit growth, organizational effectiveness and leadership. Learn more at InnovationJunkie.com.