The Light



 

It was 3:59 AM, and a light hit my room's white wood panel ceiling. Before bed last Friday night, I placed my phone on the dresser with the screen facing up. Was it the infamous call that no one wants to receive in the middle of the night?


No. My family was healthy, safe, and in bed at 3:59 AM on Saturday.


During a week, when positive covid cases surfaced at the university and my children’s school while my family remained negative, no emergency notifications became one of many blessings to come my way.

I programmed my phone’s alarm for 4:00 AM. Yet, on that meaningful morning, I awoke before the notification had the chance to penetrate the room's silence and aggravate the sleeping beauty next to me.


I did what maybe you did to start your day. After the bathroom, I went to the kitchen for a glass of water. Last week, the exception came in the uneasy feeling I carried from the bathroom sink to the refrigerator.


I couldn’t escape thinking that something was wrong or significant about to happen. It was challenging to decide whether to let my guard down or leave my bedroom with a weapon in hand.


Our strange cat acted stranger. Instead of meeting my toes at my bedroom door, she sat on the window sill, ignored me, and fixed her gaze on some creature moving outside. She was in predator mode.

By the time I turned on the kitchen light and poured myself a glass of water, she joined me. The cat purred and rubbed her head against my leg, indicating that she wanted to go out for her morning hunt.


I opened the door, watched her run, and walked to my writing office to put on my workout clothes. To avoid interrupting my wife’s sleep, I started storing some pants and t-shirts outside the house a couple of months ago.


After getting dressed, I went back inside and got the dog situated. Everything was in order before I left for what became a memorable morning.


I had to sidestep from the road more than once to avoid getting hit by a car. Several drivers were extra cautious and sped down the middle of the street with high beams blinding my sight.


Without incident, I jogged on the same path where a woman was killed yesterday. These light and dark happenstances led me into a series of reflections while exercising.

As my feet hit the pavement, I thought about the multiple lights gifted to me by my father. I wore a running light wrapped around my waist, a pair of running shoes with neon shoelaces, and a reflective t-shirt. These items were gifts that my father gave me during his visits to Antigua.


From that realization, I drew a comparison to the light inside of me that my parents, God, and others have switched on to help me strive for excellence during dark times.


My light is special but not restricted to me. When you create goals reflective of your unique talents, skills, and abilities, you are moving in your light.

On Monday in the US, public institutions celebrated the King holiday. His skills as a speaker and leader helped shape the Civil Rights movement. Because King was aware of his light, he crushed goals aligned with dreams of freedom.


As we end this third week of January, I want you to identify three specific goals that you can complete by March 31. These first 90 days of 2022 are critical in establishing an agenda for your year.


We often create grand goals that are difficult to adhere to for 365 days. Instead of putting yourself in a position to quit early, break what you want down into small, manageable, and measurable chunks.


Smaller goals done in the dark private places of your life always lead to the most remarkable accomplishments.

When I saw my phone’s light last Saturday morning, I had no idea what that morning’s run would reveal to me. It helped me appreciate where I am in life. The workout also pushed me toward my cardio endurance goal of 8 min miles during the first quarter of 2022. I’m not there yet.


Let's promise to carry our lights through whatever we encounter tomorrow or next week.


Today, think about how you can contribute more to the various tasks aligned with your goals in 2022. Then, share this post with one person and discuss how to best support each other’s success.

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