Every morning I walk three miles. I get up and drive into town to meet my girlfriends. I could walk three miles from my house, but I would miss the friendship of these other ladies. To be honest, if they weren’t expecting me, I’d be too tempted to sleep in.
Last summer, in the heat and humidity that exists at 9 am in Arkansas, I was trudging along doing my walk with the ladies. We are in the Ozark mountains so we have some hills along our route. We were walking up the first major hill and I found myself looking at my feet and staking short choppy steps. I was pounding that pavement and fighting the hill the entire way. Then I looked up to see how much further I had to go.
Something changed when I looked up. I shifted my focus from my feet that were fighting the battle to the top of the hill, where I would be victorious. From a body mechanics perspective, my head was held high and my shoulders shifted back and I could tell I was breathing easier. My steps became longer and the big muscles in my legs and hips took over from the calf muscles. It felt more like gliding.
I sailed up the hill. My friends complained that my long legs made it easier for me. To be honest, that could be a component, but I have fought that hill for years with them every morning. That day my perspective changed. I was looking ahead, not focusing so much on each step. I was seeing my destination and physically it changed my body posture and made everything easier.
It made me think about our daily activities and how on some occasions we get so bogged down in what we are doing that it feels like trudging up the hill. What would happen if we looked ahead at the outcome? If we took a minute to envision how success would feel? Would we change our approach to the task? Would it become a little easier and maybe we’d notice things we hadn’t noticed before? Maybe find a little enjoyment in the task because of where it’s taking us.
I still from time to time find myself looking down, fighting the hill. But now I notice it. I think, Why is this so hard today? Then it hits me – look ahead. As I do, I feel the changes in my body and everything is easier. What are you doing that feels like a chore? If you looked ahead and envisioned the greater destination, would that make it a little easier? Could you find some joy in the task? Let me know if you try this approach and how it works for you!