I hope this one doesn’t come across as preachy. That’s never been my intention, and I’m not looking to start now.
The problem is that, with written text, it’s too easy to take things the wrong way. I’m sure you’ve seen that happen in social media, probably plenty of times. It’s so simple to mistake a Tweet or a post on Facebook and wind up with a ridiculous flame-war between people who don’t know each other over an innocuous comment that wasn’t supposed to mean what they thought it did.
This blog isn’t political, so if you read that into anything I write here, I ask that you read it again, as that’s not my agenda.
I’m also not singling anyone out. I do have a couple people in mind for this particular song and message, but I think it’s something most of us can relate to. I know I can (not to make it all about me).
Anyway, I just didn’t want anyone to get their feelings hurt, to think I’m telling them how they should live their lives or anything else like that. This is just about a song, what it means to me, and what I think you could get out of it.
“How Far We’ve Come” was a big hit for Matchbox Twenty about six or seven years ago. It was a platinum-selling single, doing well in the U.S. and at least half a dozen other countries. In fact, according to the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, it was the most-played song in Australia in all of 2008.
So it was a big song, and the odds are you’ve heard it before.
It’s catchy and has a fun beat. Fifty years ago they would have given it a rating based on how easy it was to dance to.
If you listen to the lyrics, it sounds like it’s about the end of the world. There’s destruction and impending death all around. There’s nowhere to run to. Say your goodbyes if you have someone to say goodbye to.
Sounds a little hopeless, doesn’t it?
I find it hopeful, actually.
I think that, so often, we all get overwhelmed by what lies ahead of us. Bills are due. Projects are due. Laundry is piling up. Doctors appointments. Dentist appointments. The car’s making a funny sound. So is the water heater. All the movies you’ve ever wanted to see are coming out and it’s still two weeks until pay day.
And you can add your own to the list, as I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But the thing is, your whole life isn’t just about getting to the finish line, reaching your destination, crossing everything off your to-do list. It’s about the journey. The whole journey.
And that includes how you got where you are.
Think about all you’ve already done. All that you’ve already accomplished. The big and the small. What you set out to do and have already done, what you’ve set out to learn and already know.
Focusing too much on the end game can make you feel like the world’s ending. So far to go. How can I ever get there? How can I ever do all that needs to get done?
But look where you started. What you’ve been through. The goals you’ve reached, the mistakes you’ve made (and hopefully learned from). Even the errands you’ve already taken care of and the laundry you’ve already done.
I’m not suggesting that you live your life looking backwards. The past is a fun place to visit, but you shouldn’t try to live there.
The point is to appreciate where you are, how you got here and what you’ve already been able to do.
Even if you’re just starting out, beginning a business, jotting the first lines of your first book, going on your first interview, trying to figure out how to write your first resume. Even if you think you’re just starting, you’ve still come a long way. You’ve figured out how to start.
That’s no small thing. Sometimes figuring out that first step is one of the most difficult things to do.
Regardless of where you are on your journey, the point is that, sometimes, we just need that remind to appreciate where we are, and what we’ve already done just to get here.
Look at yourself right now! This looked like a really long blog, and you’ve already gotten to the video! Look how far you’ve come in just the last few minutes!
Ken Kessler has always been interested in psychic phenomena, and like Mulder on the X-Files, wants to believe. But like most, he tends to look for, and accept, rational explanations. (More)