A few months ago, we camped on Edisto Island in South Carolina and had a spot right on the beach. Every morning Amy went running and when she returned, I went out on the beach to set up our umbrella and chairs. We camped in the State Park on the end of the island and it is hardly ever crowded. Some days we really had the beach to ourselves. It is beautiful. Anyway, I went out early every morning this particular week and never saw another person…except for this one man.
This is him :
At first glance, I know it just looks like an old guy doing some early morning fishing on the beach, but I want you to look closely…It is important for you to see how the old man got to his spot…Do you see his walker now? I watched the old man hobble and scoot to the edge of the water for three days. He had his pole, his chair, and his little red bucket. When he got set up, he sat down and stayed allll day. I mean ALL day…just sitting and fishing.
Every day…for three days. I found myself admiring the old man and was aware that he was inspiring me to write(which is why I started taking pictures of him), but I couldn’t figure out what it was about this man’s journey from his tent in the dunes to the edge of the ocean that was making me stop every morning to watch him as if I was about to see him suddenly do something rare and spectacular. Then on the fourth day it all came to me when I saw the old man….and this:
How great is that? I remember saying out loud in these exact words with a smile on my face…bad grammar and all… “That old man done jacked up his walker…that’s soooo AWESOME!” And the lesson hit me…and now I’ll share with you:
If you are guessing that I’m going to write about being grateful for what you have…I’m not (though we should be grateful…always). If you’re thinking I’m going to write about how to improvise, adapt, and overcome…I’m not(though it is true…and I love that stuff…and it is exactly what the old man did). Instead I want to write about WHY the old man adapted…WHY did the old man jack up that walker?…WHY did the old man create the best champion monster 4×4 walker ever….WHY?
I believe it’s because…He loves to fish…really really really loves to fish. So? He was able to fish those first few days right? Why did he need to change anything? This is important : It is true he was able to fish the first three days…but what were his last four days like?….BETTER…They were better right? Take a look at his new walker:
Think about it…look at how much extra stuff he has…extra bags…extra bait…extra poles…he loves to fish…so if he can run two or three poles now, doesn’t he increase his chances of catching more fish? Doesn’t he increase the number of times he may get to experience the battle, the joy, the excitement of reeling in a fish? Look at the wheels…imagine the first time he came out onto the dunes…rolling over them instead of getting stuck in sand with every step. And finally…most importantly, think about how fast he got to his spot. He saved time. When he saved time on the hard tedious part of his journey…when he became more efficient in his journey…He added value to his day by allowing more time to do what he loves…fish.
So what am I saying to you? Figure out what you want from this life. Figure out what is important to you. Figure out what you love…what you would be willing to hobble, scoot, struggle, and drag yourself through the sand for…FIGURE IT OUT. When you figure it out, work as hard as you can to get there. You will have to improvise, adapt, and overcome…do it…jack up your walker…put it in 4 wheel drive. Whether you are there…close to being there…or still hobbling…MAKE IT BETTER. Do everything you can to make yourself better. Be so concretely set on what you love, that you’ll do anything to be doing it. I once heard a man(I can’t remember who said it right now…sorry) say it this way, “Be willing to sacrifice who you are right now…for who you want to become.” If you want to be a better student, father, mother, child, husband, wife…If you want a better job or more income…if you want to start a business…if you want to lose weight, gain weight, or start eating correctly…if you want to travel, go back to school, or play a sport…If you want to stop losing, smoking, being sick, shopping, or screaming at your kids…if you want to do ANYTHING BETTER…You have to want it bad enough to BE WILLING to struggle through the deep sand….You MUST BE WILLING to make hard choices and be responsible for those choices…YOU MUST HAVE A CLEAR AWARENESS about what you want…and BE WILLING to DO ALL THINGS POSSIBLE to make the journey BETTER…not necessarily easier…BETTER…more efficient, more practical, more strategic…BETTER…all with the mindset that after you work hard on the things you need to work on…after you make many slow trips in the sand…after you put the big wheels on…after you put it in 4 wheel drive…You’ll feel blessed for the chance you had to take such a journey…and grateful to be EXACTLY where you are.