How Would This Look From Above?

The higher you are, the further you can see.

I am reminded of this every time I go trail running. (Mostly because I tend to be clumsy.)

During a long ultra marathon, you find yourself twisting and turning through the trails to make it to your destination. Sometimes stumbling. Falling over rocks and sticks.

You can't run too quickly because what you're stepping on is uneven and sometimes unsteady. More importantly, you usually can't see too far in front of you.

Sometimes just a few feet is all you get.

And then as the trail bends and climbs you see a little bit more. But every once in awhile you make your way to the summit of a mountain ridge.

And looking out between the gaps in the trees you can see for miles. And it's beautiful. Especially if the sun is just right as it hits the trees.

It takes your breath away. And not just because of how it looks -- but because of how far you can see.

There is freedom in a bigger vision. You don't have to guess. You don't have to twist and turn.

You can see the path ahead of you. For a long ways ahead. And that just makes everything better.

Now, if you're running a race, you still need to make it to the finish line. But knowing where that is and how far you have to go gives you the confidence to put in the effort.

That's true for running. That's true for relationships. That's true for building wealth, raising kids, developing confidence, or for achieving any other goal that matters to you.

The higher your perspective, the further you can see.

When you’re running through life kicking rocks, looking at your shoes, it’s frustrating. And painful. When you get vertical, you can see more.

In life, that "vertical" could be a number of things:

  • The candidly raw insights of a coach or therapist

  • The knowledge you gain reading a specialized book

  • The release you find from exercise or walking

  • The joy you feel being around people who inspire you

  • The support of an association, church, or community group

  • The quiet moments of your life where you meditate

It's probably not any one of these things. It's a bit of all of them. And together, they give you the vertical you need to see more of the path in front of you.

When you find yourself tripping over rocks, discouraged by your path through life, take a moment to ask yourself a simple question: "How would this look from above?"

Dan Waldschmidt