In Jim Valvano’s classic ESPY speech in 1993 he says this about the perfect day:
There are three things we all should do every day…Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is you should have your emotions moved to tears.”
I have listened to this speech numerous times and this line always sticks with me. I’m good at the first two but the third is tougher. I have spent a lot of time in thought over the past month or so. I noticed there was very little time in the day where I sat in complete silence with no television, music, or cell phone and simply thought.
It is not easy. Usually after 2 or 3 minutes I reach for my cell phone or start thinking about all of the items I need to check off my to do list.
It is hard to want to move myself to tears. Watching a sad movie or talking about unpleasant topics isn’t something that sounds appealing at all. I’m coming to learn it is very ignorant to attempt to live in a bubble where nothing unpleasant happens.
We live in a broken world. Crime, disease, and natural disasters are constant. I have been reading Jeff Goins’ Wrecked, which I wrote about on Sunday. It is a tremendous book about experiencing moments in life where we become wrecked.
Here is a short excerpt that elaborates on this:
To be wrecked beings with an experience that pulls you out of your comfort zone and self – centeredness, whether you want it to or not. Your old narcissistic dreams begin to fade in light of something bigger, something better. The process leaves you battered and broken after the “real world” has slammed up against your ideals a couple dozen times. What’s left standing is a new paradigm. It’s hard, but it’s good. (34)”
I have learned that not only do I need to not ignore this but I need to seek out these experiences. Life is not a Disney movie. Opening myself up to despair and sometimes destruction around me is good for me. It helps realign my priorities with where they should be.
If you struggle with one of these areas it probably means you need to spend more time focusing on that area.