I was jamming to the new The Midnight album in my car the other day. At a red light, I happened to glance down at the red tail light of the truck in front of me and saw that about a 16 oz glass of water was swishing around inside the light.
From all outside appearances, that light was working perfectly, it just so happened to be a non-water resistant ticking time bomb towards breaking by also trying out as the role of a small aquarium.
What does a random truck’s tail light fishbowl have to do with anything?
Well, it's kind of a perfect analogy for life.
We often go about our lives like that broken tail light.
Everything seems normal, but when a little storm hits we start drowning.
On the outside, everything looks fine, but on the inside we are drowning in our problems or in constant conflict with ourselves. How many times today have you thought something negative or verbally self-defeating about yourself? ‘ugh, I'm terrible at that’ ‘why can't I get this right, what's wrong with me' ‘I hate myself' ‘I hate my life’ ‘I'm not pretty enough' ‘I'm not smart enough’….
Or even worse:
Everything looks fine to us, but to everyone else we spend our lives with (or random strangers who happened to look our way) can clearly see our recklessness or behavior is building up chaos around us, ready to rain down on us. Maybe we don't realize how tired we really are (and look), then wonder why we ‘suddenly' get really sick or burnt-out. Or maybe we don't realize we're stuck in a negative or abusive relationship, with ourselves or with another. Or maybe we don't realize how much anger and fury rule over our lives. Everyone got the memo except us. Everything is fine, but we’re about to be hit by a massive life tornado that could have be easily avoided if we had bothered looking up.
How do we mitigate this kind of life neglect?
By Being intentionally as possible. When decisions are made, we give them a moment of real consideration before blindly jumping. By periodically checking in with ourselves about how we are doing and how we are treating ourselves. By testing our limits, and pairing back when we are going to far beyond them for long stretches By aligning our actions with our purposes. By asking for advice from people we respect who are wiser and more experienced than us.
Intentionality is the road to a meaningful life.
Every dumb mistake or decision I've made has been the result of lack of awareness of how I was feeling, what was happening around me and the why behind my actions or others actions.
STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner