September. It’s hard to believe we are in the final 4 months of 2023. Soon it will be the holidays, changes in seasons, colder weather and another opportunity to stand on the cusp of a brand new year. To be honest, this year, and even more, this summer flew by so quickly that I barely had time to keep up. The long and sometimes arduous days flew by such that I catch myself checking the calendar with greater frequency to remember what day it is and what month we are in.
In January, I can remember having grandiose goals for my business and personal life that seemed calculated and reasonable at the time only to find that the strategy to reach those seemingly attainable goals was not as simple and straightforward as I thought. I carved out a direct straight path to reaching those goals but with life, we live on the curve. So many of my plans were disrupted by emergencies, last minute changes and other surprises I didn’t plan for that I am almost ready to give up. In so many ways we are still reeling from the impact of the last 3 years and still feeling the effects on our physical, mental and emotional health. So much of me still feels like I’m trying to catch up. And with the advent of AI and its potential impact to the way we do life, the pace of life has accelerated far beyond any of us catching up. Which brings me back to…September.
It would be very easy to bemoan the fact that the year is almost over, blink and the holidays will be here again and disheartened by all this, hope to have a better year…next year. But sometimes the final 3rd, the last quarter can inspire a “now or never” motivation we struggled to muster through the year. My life with small children has prompted me to explore inspiration through their eyes and this time of year reminds of the story of the tortoise and the hare. On a recent trip to the zoo, it amazed me how slowly a tortoise moves, and its entire life could be spent plodding along seemingly unnoticed. Yet, some of them can live up to 150 years in the wild. They practice a diligence and faithfulness that makes them successful despite how slowly they go. A tortoise may well outlive you and I and they are not in a rush to do anything.
Upon further reflection, I can’t help but notice not only the diligence of the tortoise but its singular focus in getting to the finish line. My life is constantly full of distractions and the reality of being pulled in several directions at any one time. The tortoise makes no great strides in a single bound but makes small, steady, incremental steps towards the goal. I am humbled by this truth when I realize that all my efforts to go big in one go aren’t really getting me anywhere. The small steps I make may feel inconsequential but over days, months and even years, it adds up. Despite the fact that the year is two-thirds over, it shouldn’t stop me from making small, steady, incremental steps towards the goals I still want to accomplish this year. As human beings, we can get so fixated on the finish line and the 1,000 steps to get there that we don’t take the one in front of us. It is as much a challenge to you as it is to me. Even in September, we can start and finish well. I’m cheering you on as you take the next step.