Stop! Look! Listen! Probably one of the most common childhood lessons we are taught when we are kids. And why not? Those three simple words are loaded with wisdom. So why is it that at some point in our adolescent years, we begin to believe these words no longer apply to us? Is it because we think that only kids get hit by cars? Is it because we have crossed the road so many times that we believe we have it mastered? Regardless of the arrogant reasoning we possess that has us turn our back to this little piece of wisdom, me must realize that this nugget of wealth and knowledge can and should be applied to more than just crossing a paved road. It can be vital to us if we become disciplined enough to apply it to every crossroad we come to in our lives.
Stop! For many of us life is going 100 mph. It is as though we are being whisked away down a raging river. We are stranded in a life raft with no paddle and must go wherever the current takes us. The fact of the matter is we DO have a paddle and we DO have the ability to maneuver our lives in the directions we wish. It won’t come without hard work and challenges but if we persist with determination, we can redirect our “life” raft in the direction of our dreams. But in order to do that we must be willing to make course corrections. Stopping for a brief moment to evaluate our location; to take an inventory of the journey to this point; to take in the successes and failures we have experienced all are key to making proper course corrections. If we do not stop for this brief moment of reflection, we may find ourselves even further off track making it even more difficult to get to where we are aiming. In addition, we waste valuable amounts of energy and time! STOP and make the minor course adjustments as you go!
Look! Around us at all times are people and things going through life at that 100+ mph pace! Just being observant to our surroundings and others within it, we may be able to draw out some invaluable ideas, lessons and wisdom without actually having to experience is personally. I find that reading personal growth books help me tremendously in gaining direction and understanding about my life. It may have taken the author a lifetime of experiences to put together one book of ideas; but what took them a lifetime I can absorb in a matter of hours! Not to mention this is a great way to expand our own visions and dreams! I’m willing to paddle my own “life” raft but I don’t have a problem with being humble enough to realize that I can use the efforts and experiences of others to help navigate my own life! LOOK and take in all that is around you!
Listen! We have all heard the saying that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we speak! There is allot of wisdom in that saying. Most of us are where we are in life because of the decisions we made utilizing the knowledge in our own heads! Scary isn’t it? The truth is when we lean on our own understanding of life and ours alone, we leave out the vast amount of wisdom we could be applying had we only listened to what else is out there for us! I’m not saying always do as others instruct you; you must realize that for the most part they are as lost and confused as you. But what I am saying is take some time in your life to be coach-able; seek council and engage with others who are traveling the same road as you. Listen to their experience and life lessons; take it in and use it to make your own course corrections in life. Again this is another way to collapse the time frame to your own destination. LISTEN and make your journey less stressful!
I think it is important to add one last key element into this key life lesson; STOP, LOOK and LISTEN help us to gain knowledge and understanding of our own journey. But one last important piece to the equation that is missing in many of our lives is ACTION! Knowledge without action is a total waste of potential. I witness people everyday looking to acquire more knowledge; the sad part is that many never have nor take the opportunity to actually apply it. Knowledge by itself doesn’t propel us forward; ACTION does!
In short, the lessons of our youth are not something to be tossed aside as we get older, but rather taken and implemented with more wisdom and understanding than ever possible as a child. STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and ACT are simple yet vital steps in moving ourselves down the river of life! Gaining wisdom and being the director of our own lives is in fact a great way to prove that you have GROWN UP! 🙂