“It is better to aim for the stars and land on the moon than to aim for the curb and land in the gutter.”
As the start of the new year approaches, most folks I know seem to at least give a passing thought to the year ahead and what they might do with the the future that lays in store.
Having a full year in front of you is like having money in the bank. There are a lot of possibilities and you can spend your future on anything you want. Some folks are wise with their money, some are not, but you just don’t want to be unwise with your future.
You could win the lottery and wind up with a huge pile of money. There is no lottery for the future.
When people come into the office around this time of year I like to hear about their new year’s resolutions; because in almost all cases, people seem to brighten up when they are inventing a future.
I love to hear stories from people who have set their resolve and achieved their dreams. It has been said that. “The supreme test of a being is their ability to make things go right.”
A True Test Of Being
An older Chinese man came into the office today.
I got the feeling that most of the help he has had in life came from his own hands. His English was a bit broken but he spoke with confidence and smiled a lot.
His son is a successful businessman who works hard and has a winning smile. He’s the kind of person who always sees to up side to a problem, a consummate optimist who lights up the room with pure happiness.
I had a few extra minutes to spare so I asked this humble man about his history.
In 1970 he left China at the age of 19. It wasn’t an easy time to leave China back then. About twenty percent of the population lived in the city and were prosperous and lived off the sweat of peasant labors. College students were almost always the children of the rich city elite, but in those days a lot of college students were banished to live as workers in the fields of peasantry. For the peasants there was almost no hope of future improvement.
These were the conditions that led up to the event that occurred on a moonless night off the China coastline.
On that night a small Chinese man put on some swim shorts and slipped quietly into the inky waters and disappeared into the darkness. The black night helped shield him from the watching eyes of government authorities who, upon his capture, would have beaten him severely and escorted him to a Chinese jail.
He swam on and on, into the night navigating by the glow of distant lights on the island of Hong Kong. He never looked back. He wasn’t thinking about the danger that failure would bring. He was thinking about freedom. He fell into a rhythm of reaching, dipping, pulling, twisting his neck, breathing, every stroke was another reach for freedom. Hours passed and dawn broke through his cold exhausted body. He could have taken a shorter route but the risk of being spotted was greater, the guards knew where to look for traitors.
He arrived on the Hong Kong coast the next morning and staggered ashore. He had no money and no possessions, other than his swim shorts. He was free, his new life had begun. He was able to make friends who gave him clothing and helped him find a job. He lived in Hong Kong for 9 years, working and saving his money before immigrating to the United States. He is now a United States citizen.
I’m going to keep this man in mind this year while making my goals for this coming year. His is a story about the power of intention.
You know, you really could achieve some measures of greatness this year. In making your goals, think of a time when you achieved a great victory, bested an opponent or won a contest. In making your goals, be a small Chinese man, slipping into the water, swimming for freedom - make it happen. Think of the greatest achievements of man, this is what you are capable of! Whatever you do, have a goal; for this is the way you budget your future.
“It is better to aim for the stars and land on the moon, than to aim for the curb and land in the gutter.”
Steve Smith - Your friendly, neighborhood Pasadena Chiropractor