Any success book worth its cover price is going to tell you that you must develop long-term thinking. That is because success requires a willingness to forgo the immediate reward for the long term desired result. Thinking beyond today and tomorrow to next week, month, year, or even decade is imperative to applying the daily decisions necessary to shape the future that you want.
But long-term thinking isn’t always a great idea.
In Lone Survivor, the author explains how to make it through Hell Week at seal training camp: live in the moment.
All of Seal training is hard. Hell Week is just the same hard things all close together, over and over. It’s when the current struggle is extrapolated out with expectation that it will continue without end… that’s when the mental state is impaired. That’s when men, who have trained their whole life for the chance to attempt becoming a Seal, will ring the bell and give up on their dream.
The Seals who graduate master the art of being in the moment.
Today was hard. I learned at 3pm of an accident involving my father and at 9pm it was confirmed that he, along with several other members of their church, did not survive.
That wasn’t in the plan. Where is God now?
My dad who adopted a son of a single mom as if it was his own is dead. My dad who taught Sunday school and AWANA and served the church in every capacity available for as long as I can remember… he’s gone. My dad who behaves like the preteens that he serves and loves… will never see them again.
He’s gone… without a goodbye.
Right now, I’m in Hell Week and I can survive as long as I can keep my focus on the current moment.
I can’t think about a wedding day without my dad to walk me down the aisle.
I can’t think about grandkids that will never know their grandfather.
I can’t think about Christmas or holidays that will be so much harder without my dad.
I can only think about right now, this moment, taking one more breath… and then another.
Will I be at church Sunday?
I don’t know.
When will I go back to work?
I don’t know.
Will I write every day to process or will this be my last post for a long time?
I don’t know.
I know I will wake up tomorrow.
I will wake up and I will go with my mom to claim my father’s body. From the pictures I saw of the wreckage, I don’t know how recognizable my dad will be. I can’t think right now about how to handle tomorrow. I can just take one more breath. And after that another.
The time will come to dream again. The time will come to think about the future.
Right now, I need to just live in the moment. Be fully here for my mom and not checked out in YouTube or Netflix. I don’t need to be stoic and emotionless… in fact I need to feel.
And that’s hard. Nothing I can write will make it any easier.
Trust me, I’ve tried.
I’m glad to have so many families and I love you all. I don’t know what we need. I don’t know how you can help. I know you feel as powerless as I did when Sherri lost her husband. Thank you for just loving and supporting and being available.
I will dream again. But first, I will sleep and wake up to a new day with new challenges. The first day of the rest of my life. I will take comfort in knowing where my father is now and that I will see him again.
And I will keep breathing for this moment before I worry about the next.