“If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968),
Civil Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner
Dr. King was an eloquent speaker whose passion for seeing America live up to its self-proclaimed standards of freedom and dignity for all citizens resounds still today. For the next few minutes, I would like to focus on the last two words of King’s quote, “keep moving.”
It seems so simple, doesn’t it? You know… the exhortation that screams at us, “Don’t just stand there; do something!” Movement is a vital part of being alive. In fact, that which doesn’t move any longer when it once did, we may deem to be dead, kaput, deceased, worthless, broken. “Doing something” seems to imply life and thoughtful action, perhaps even action toward accomplishing a specific goal. Come to think of it, moving anything anywhere is about arriving somewhere else.
Accomplishing or achieving something of some value to us is the ultimate purpose of movement, even if that movement is just shifting our weight in our seat, running in a marathon, or making that last sales call before the end of the day. We often take movement for granted, and don’t give much thought to it when we do it so naturally. But imagine the physical act of moving is no longer an option to you and suddenly it becomes the most important thing in your life. You gotta keep moving…
I believe it is important for each person to have a goal – or several goals – that inspire them to keep moving. Goals and goal-setting is in the purview of the human experience in ways that produce a deep sense of commitment, passion, persistence, perseverance and dedication that instinct cannot account for. Without worthwhile, meaningful, inspiring goals, life begins to become dull and listless, sucking the life out of us as we set about trudging from one meaningless task to the next, from one day to the next, until the days stretch into weeks, then months, then years. That’s not my idea of a fun time, thank you.
If that’s where you find yourself today, I have good news for you: you don’t have to stay there! But you are the only one who has the power to choose for yourself. You gotta keep moving…
You might want to get a little help from an interested but unbiased third party in order to objectively explore where you have traveled and how you came to this place. Depending on your particular circumstances, you might want to talk to a trusted friend, a life coach, or a licensed counselor. Those are distinctly different approaches and it’s important to understand that talking to a friend is not coaching or counseling. For that matter, coaching is not counseling and counseling is not coaching, either. But that’s for another day. The point is, when you are in a funk, you may truly benefit from having a conversation with someone who can really hear you but not get pulled into the story, so to speak.
But let’s say you don’t feel a need to go there with either a coach or a counselor. That’s fine. But you have to start somewhere, right? So my suggestion is simply this: think back to a point in time where you felt energetic or even challenged and excited to accomplish and succeed at something. What was the thing that gave you energy and joy? What were you doing? Where were you going? What were you attempting to accomplish? What was the feeling you had when you DID IT?
Do you have that in mind? Then write it down and think on another time, and another, and another.
Chances are you’ll begin to see a pattern emerging where certain activities and goals energized you. Find out where the light entered your life and begin to cultivate a thirst and a hunger for more of those days in the future. Be in the present, live each day alive and on purpose, and soon the passion and energy to move will overtake you once again. When you move, move toward those things that bring your life meaning and purpose, satisfaction and energy. Write your goals down and chronicle the journey. Keep reminding yourself of what you have accomplished in the past and that having done so before, you can do so again – and more. Don’t give up. Keep moving.
About the blogger
John E. Trombley, organization development consultant and training with The Village Business Insitute has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a Master of Management degree from the University of Mary, Fargo. Prior to founding his own organization development company, John served as a Command Pilot, Squadron Commander, and senior staff officer in the USAF and Air National Guard—he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel with over 6,200 flying hours.
With over 16 years of experience in providing consulting services and training programs, Trombley has a passion for group process facilitation and corporate training in areas including leadership development, change management, leadership transition processes, managerial coaching, and personality assessment workshops. He is registered with the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota as a Qualified Neutral mediator, is trained in Critical Incident Stress Management Group Crisis Intervention, and is certified in Internal Investigations by the Council on Education in Management.
For more information, contact The Village Business Institute at 1-800-627-8220 or www.thevbi.com.