Seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery sitting in a tremendous hangar-wing of the Air & Space Museum near Dulles, VA, an up-close look at a pillar of the US space program and a testament to the spirit of human invention and innovation, is a wonder to behold. The same can be said for the days to come between today and New Year’s Eve. It’s all about discovery.
This is the time of year, as families come together and the final days of the Roman calendar fall away, there is time for reflection, for hope, for inner peace and reflection. A time for discovery of what the past year has meant to you and hopefully where you plan to go in the year just beyond the horizon.
As I slowly walked around in awe of the Space Shuttle Discovery, I took picture after picture of that mammoth engine of human ingenuity. And then I climbed the nearby stairs to for a bird’s eye view of a legendary space icon, and took even more photos with the family posing right at the spot where you could see the words of the nation for which I stand and the name of one of its finest inventions. There is something about being up close to a piece of human creation which has nearly touched the stars, especially when in human spirit, you have the same aspirations.
Discovery. It is awe inspiring, just as I begin to look back on the year that is ending and realize the name of the shuttle and my past year share the same theme. Discovery. I have learned more about myself and my purpose in 2013 than at any other time in my life, not just because of accomplishments, but because of focus on and discipline to my daily agenda and to truly thinking about the moments and people in my life for which I am grateful and to whom I want to give time and attention. And then more often than not, turning those thoughts into written words. It’s your actions, not your intentions which move you forward.
The scientists and innovators built Discovery, a super rocket, a re-useable shuttle which could orbit, roar through space and return to earth. It wasn’t always perfect, it had flaws, we lost heroes along the way and remember them for their courage, for leading the way, for wanting to be part of something remarkable.
How much of your own life, or even this past year can you see embodied in the concept of Discovery. This particular shuttle traveled 149 million miles in 39 missions, completed 5,830 orbits, and spent 365 days in orbit in over 27 years. Not gone, just retired, after years of consistency and tremendous service to the space program and to innovation which helped shape our world.
Your turn. A time for discovery of your past year, as life slows down, to not just to one-half, but for many, one-quarter time. There are thousands of thoughts, millions of moments encompassed in this past year which has helped shape your own world. But it’s just a blip on the radar screen of what life can really be about. I’m sure it wasn’t perfect, I’m sure it wasn’t without some heartache, but I also know there was great joy. There had to be, and there will be more.
Time to think bigger, but first to take stock. I challenge you to spend some time, some real time, more than just a few minutes, focused on gratitude for this past year. Real time spent on discovery for all which you have accomplished, all you have to be grateful for…but don’t just think it, ink it. Try that one exercise and it can change your world now and in the coming year. It’s important to understand that this is not a once-a-year exercise. Make it part of your daily routine, a daily activity. Just a few minutes to focus on what happened the day before for which you are grateful.
You can’t move forward until you look back and realize the foundation you already have and the abundance you already possess. This is the time of year to get started, don’t waste the moments thinking about what you don’t have, or couldn’t, or didn’t accomplish. Take stock of all the areas in your life that are wealthy, abundant and prosperous. Write them down. Take a positive look at the past and it will allow you to embrace the future.
Then look to the stars and think about Discovery, the wonder of space, the power of your own human ingenuity and innovation. People just like you had a dream and created something which nearly touched the heavens, yet found its way back to earth, back home for all of us to marvel at, eye in wonder and believe bigger things are possible.
Make discovery your goal, starting today. Let me know how it goes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time, thanks for taking the time.
Mark Brodinsky, Author
It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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