Most of us at one time or another have seen some kind of race. Perhaps it was a NASCAR race or horse race, or maybe a running race in one of the Olympic Games.
In every race or game there is some kind of completion. In football there is a goal line. In baseball there is home-plate. In racing there is a finish line. Every golfer knows that there is a finish line of sorts at the end of each hole, and finally, there is one last finish cup at the end of all eighteen holes. A finish line helps you to establish a point of reference. It is when you know you have finished the race or game.
The challenge in life comes for us when the finish line is unclear. Because there is no one standing there waving a checkered flag as we cross the finish line, we often pass it up and keep on going. When we do not know what the finish line looks like, we often miss it.
In 2005 I crossed a finish line in my life. I won’t bore you with the details about it, but, because I did not know what the finish line looked like at the time, it took me four more years to realize that I had passed it a long time ago. Rather than be upset about it, I have acquired wisdom and insight to know what the finish line looks like so that the next time I begin to approach it, I will be more aware.
Perhaps you have heard of Robert Kiyosaki. He is the famous author who wrote the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series. He invented a game called Cash Flow that goes along with the concept of his book. It is an educational tool that teaches you how to look for the finish line in your financial life. The goal of the game is to get out of the financial rat-race. However, you can never learn how to do that until you discover that there actually IS a finish line!
I have discovered over the years that there are a few questions that I can ask myself that will help me to better see my finish line the next time I approach it. For example: What is my objective? What am I actually trying to do? Do I have any goals or dreams or plans for my sunset years? What kind of life-style do I really want? How do I accomplish those steps in front of me? And finally, after I have those issues clear in my mind, the last question I need to ask myself is, what would it look like to stop?
Now, I am not talking about quitting in life. I do not think retirement is a wise endeavor at all! Every time I hear about someone who finally retires, it is not long until they die, so I am not talking about retiring. I am talking about knowing how to establish some markers in life so you can actually know where you are. When I hear someone say, “Well, my goal is just to make a whole lot of money,” I know that they do not have a finish line. They have not learned how to evaluate their life in a way that will set some clear markers and indicators and a finish line. Life is not about throwing things up on the wall to see what sticks. Life is about having a plan. It is just very, very difficult to do; especially when we have not gone that way before. However, as I said earlier, when we know what our goals and objectives are, and what our finish line will look like, there will be a much greater chance of hitting our mark.
Let me encourage you to sit down this week and ask yourself where you are on this journey called life. We are all given a certain number of days in which we can enjoy life. I have come to see that it makes a whole lot more sense when you have a finish line that will help you know when it is time to stop and begin some other endeavors that are in your heart. There’s an old saying, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.” Perhaps that applies to this Tip more than any other. I believe it does.
Tip: Have a finish line!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm