May 11, 2020 — I love really powerful statements like these: teamwork makes the dream work, we are better together, just do it, there’s power in numbers, less is more, etc etc. Currently I find myself drawn to this one:
Eyes on the prize. It’s so simple. It’s so good. After a touch of research, I discovered that it was originally, “Keep your eyes on the prize” from a folk song that was popular during the American Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s. Thank you, Wikipedia.
Back to today, 2020. When I feel overwhelmed, lost, confused, snowed under, decision fatigue, pulled in too many directions (many times a day sometimes), focusing my attention on that one statement can make all the difference.
So what is it? It doesn’t refer to an actual, physical prize, necessarily, but something more, something deeper and meaningful.
The Prize. The goal, the result, the ah-ha! the completion of a task, the thing you have been striving for, that thing you have worked for and achieved because of that effort. It helps all other things just fall away and become unimportant. Mere distractions that matter not in the face of The Prize.
Only YOU can focus on The Prize that’s your prize. Everyone else is, or certainly SHOULD be, focused on their prize. Don’t sit there and expect anyone else to zero in on your prize. They can champion and support you, but ultimately, it’s yours to own and pursue, and then it’s yours to celebrate!
I have a friend who just got a later-in-life college degree (woottt!) and what an example of Eyes on the Prize! She couldn’t have more distractions: 4 busy kids at home, job loss drama, a household to run, a pandemic to manage, all the ins and outs of this “online learning” stuff. But she kept putting one foot in front of the other until she GRADUATED!! Getting that important feather in her cap now opens up more options for a new Prize. I bet there were many nights of classes and homework and tests that found her thinking, “is this even worth it? do I have time and energy for this?? I should probably be taking care of (fill-in-the-blank-with-mom-guilt) and not pursuing this…”
Eyes on the Prize, but rephrased: Eyes on YOUR Prize.
I just bet, because I know you, that you’re thinking, “I don’t know what my prize is! How do I know what my prize is??”
You do. You just have to get quiet. You will know.
Or, you could also be thinking, “I have TOO MANY prizes! What do I do with too many prizes??” Now comes to mind the Highlander: “There can be only ONE.” You can have many prizes, and I sure hope you do, but there is only one at a time that needs the EYES.
How? So how do I know which one? Like this: picture yourself this time next year, (and try not to get COVID-19 distracted) and think, “What one thing is so important to me that if a year goes by and I haven’t moved that needle towards it I will be so very (insert appropriate disappointed emotion here) and (insert appropriate ego-destroying emotion here).
THAT is how you discern your Prize.
I was an aimless mess this morning unable to focus on my regular routine, getting my knickers in a real twist by letting literally everything in my path be a huge distraction. My cats, the state of the kitchen, my lack of preparing for this week because of Mother’s Day time yesterday, (worth it obviously), too much head junk, basically!
But then that beautiful, focusing phrase simply rose from the ashes in my mind’s eye and set me straight. Thank you, intuition!
Eyes on the Prize.
Another incredible thing about this powerful phrase is that is doesn’t permit you to spend any wasted time fretting over the “coulda-shoulda-woulda” junk because you are too focused on the “I’m-gonna-so-look-out” stuff to be losing time on that nonsense!
Just when you think you’re directionless and hopelessly overwhelmed with no idea where to start, stick your head above the clouds and you will see so clearly, with laser-like focus, that before you know it, all that pointless stuff that was crowding your mojo not 5 minutes ago, will be in the backseat pouting and totally in your rearview mirror.
So, let’s do this!
PS I would LOVE an email or a comment about what your Prize is. I’m here to encourage you!