Hopped on the elliptical the other morning – nothing like a good workout to get the creative juices flowing – flipped on the TV for motivation and inspiration for my perspiration, and there on CMT Crossroads is Rascal Flatts & Journey performing together. Good mix. The coolest thing is happening in Nashville, it’s a brotherhood of music. But this is about way more than a country song.
Music is easy – hear a song, write a blog. It’s almost too easy, they write it for you. Most music does that, it’s why it’s the universal language. It’s the very fabric of our lives, hear a song that takes you back in time, or gets you moving forward in the right direction. Whatever, nearly every song creates an undeniable feeling inside, happy, sad, mellow, melancholy, angry, inspired. Very few songs have no meaning, or anything to say… it’s just like life. Some moments are simply wasted, but most of the time if you pause long enough to appreciate it, everything matters. Problem is, too many of us never slow down.
Rascal Flatts & Journey were performing “Life is a Highway” and they were bringin’ it!
“Life’s like a road that you travel on, it’s one day here, the next day gone. “
Been thinking about that a lot lately. It’s one of the reasons I’m blogging and I’m damn sure I’m writing a book(s). I’m gonna ride this thing all night long, and if you’re goin’ my way… we’ll drive this thing all night long. Why not? Ten posts ago I explained it all – I’m going to put it all out there, and not be afraid. Life is too short. Do what you want to do, to do what you love. I can stroke these keys and let it all pour out of my mind as fast as I can think it. Sometimes too fast.
Move down this highway of life too quickly and you lose out. Big time. I’ve learned to slow down, to coordinate, to orchestrate, but most importantly to appreciate. If not, you can’t create the music of your life. If you don’t, if you can’t, it all becomes white noise. Stop and take it in every once in a while. I’ve learned that if I want to thrive, and not just survive, there has to be more and it has to make a difference. I have already made a difference in countless lives in the arena of insurance and financial services, but what about really sharing what’s inside?
“Through all these cities and all these towns, it’s in my blood and it’s all around.”
I’m paying attention. I’m looking for good. I’m working on becoming more, every day. Every day. Too many times you only stop to take notice in chunks of time because it’s so dramatic you can’t turn away. When someone dies, when someone is murdered, when some whacked out radicals fly planes into buildings in the middle of Manhattan, when some asshole opens fire on a school. Then we stop, then we pause, then we pay attention. Too little. Too late. Because while you stopped to smell the sulfur, you forgot to stop and smell the roses. You forgot that every single day something meaningful is taking place in your life. Something small that is making a difference, if ONLY you stopped to notice. The more small things you pay attention to, the bigger the benefit. It’s the compound effect in action.
If you only take the fast lane and ride down the highway at 90 miles an hour – you are not gaining on a soul. You are simply leaving your own in the dust. You can’t outrun anything, it will catch up to you and probably when you least expect it.
“Knock me down and get back up again, your in my blood, I’m not a lonely man. There’s no load I can’t hold, road so rough this I know, I’ll be there when the light comes in, just tell ’em we’re survivors.”
Survivors. One of them lies by my side now every night. She was dealt her hand, one card up and one face down. The dealer was named Breast Cancer, but she decided to take a hit, and she beat the friggin’ dealer. Now she’s playing with House money. Think she’s taking a moment now and then to appreciate life? Still, the mistake we all make is waiting til someone tells you it’s time to play the game… be proactive. Make life your G.A.L. Gratitude. Appreciation. Love. They make a difference, a huge difference, if you just try them on for size. And guess what, one size fits all.
“There was a distance between you and I. A misunderstanding once, but now we look it in the eye”
Don’t let a grudge, a hurtful word, or a miscommunication make the highway seem endless. Take an exit and take a breath. In and out. In and out.
Learn that the toughest situation, the toughest person to handle, just isn’t that tough if you take the time, to take the time, and think it through.
“If you’re going my way… I’m gonna drive it all night long.”
Life is a highway… and if you’re goin’ my way… I’m gonna ride it all night long.” Are you ready? I hope so, because we’re just getting started. And we’ll go there together. I’m happy to take the wheel. Or you can… as long as you take it slow and enjoy the ride.
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.