A movie I’ve watched over and over again and found to be quite inspiring amongst many movies is ‘Gladiator’.
One of my favourite opening scenes is when ‘Gladiator’ crouches to pick up some dirt from the ground and almost take a moment to be totally present before going into ‘battle.’
There’s something about that which resonates.
In a book entitled ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius a line which stands out for me is this:
“Never confuse yourself by visions of an entire lifetime at once…remember that it is not the weight of the future or the past that is pressing upon you, but ever that of the present alone.”
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve fallen into the overwhelming trap of trying to figure it all out at once. To somewhere on a single page or through some form of reflection or writing ‘map’ up and ‘figure’ out everything I’m going to do.
That might seem appealing at first but I’ve experienced this as overwhelm simply because there are always areas that will grow, get re-defined, re-discovered and re-developed.
Imagine Gladiator in that first scene taking a pen and pencil and trying to map out all of the ‘battles’ and ‘wars’ he was going to fight and all of the opponents (aka goals) he was going to take on.
It would not have worked.
Instead, what did he do?
He simply kept present. Took a moment to appreciate a bird that flew in and flew off and then got to work with the obstacles at hand.
I’m not advocating nor likening the development of potential as a ‘war’ or ongoing ‘battle’. Neither am I saying you need to be a ‘gladiator’ or ‘warrior’ (although there are some interesting takes on this).
Rather the point I’m raising is be present now, right now, with the task of potential at hand. There is always room for savouring the moment + doing what you need to do today.
You do not have to have it all figured out at once. Clarity is important yes. Focus a corner stone yet it’s a big ask to try and map with detail every single step over a lifetime.
There is no harm in blueprinting, mapping, projecting, envisioning yet let it not overwhelm you. Let it inspire you…
Crouch if you need to, gather some ‘dust’ in your hands (if you want to), and appreciate the moment at hand…
Take a moment, then look to the next immediate horizon of your own potential.
You’ll know what to do next.