I clearly remember the first time that I was running and a driver came racing up from my left to make a right turn in front of me and did not know I was there. I had been running for quite a while on sidewalks and I was wearing down. Other runners had told me that it happens but I had never seen it for myself. If I had not kept my head up and noticed that I was in the blind spot for that driver I would have been in front of the car when it pulled into traffic and I would have been on the pavement, or worse.
I would have been on the pavement, or worse ~Jeffrey Kelly
This moment changed the way I think about pushing hard to achieve my goals. Instead of driving without regard for anything else, almost being addicted to the goal or task, I now keep my head up to make sure I’m not about to be surprised by something I could have seen coming with just a simple look.
Now that I can see the danger as an athlete, I see it happening all the time in every aspect of my life.
I see it at work. I’ll be working with someone and from left field comes a silent priority change or someone working against me or someone with conflicting ideas or a manager that doesn’t want to apply resources to something I’ve been working on for months. With my head up I make sure to interact with the right folks, gain buy in for the approach, and create a wave of support for the engineering task I’m tackling.
I see it with my kids. When your head is down you never see those amazing moments that your kids experience or the massive challenges they face. I remember the first time my son became separate from me in a store. I knew he would turn up and I positioned myself to be easy to find but he didn’t know that. When he came back to me he acted cool but in just a few minutes the fear that had built up inside him started taking over. If I had immediately walked away with him he would have suffered through that alone and we would have missed an amazing opportunity to talk about needing help, how to get it, and what might have been “too much” playing.
I see it with my marriage. Anyone in a working, committed, productive marriage experiences times when they need the support of their partner but are too proud or in too deep to ask for it directly. When I’m working hard and long hours at my job I have to keep my head up to make sure I know if my wife is having a hard time. If I don’t keep my head up, these times when support is needed but not asked for slip through and from there resentment can creep in. YOU HAVE TO KEEP YOUR HEAD UP IN YOUR MARRIAGE!
No matter what you are doing in life, if you’re pushing yourself, there will come times when you are tired and your natural inclination is to drop your head and grind hard on that goal. I challenge you to keep your head up enough to identify those drivers that have no clue that they are about to cause an injury or fatality. Watch for those times when work is about to go sideways. Watch for those moments with your kids. Watch for the times when your spouse needs you. With a small moment of awareness you can keep yourself on track for all your goals.