If we see the word UP as an acronym for “Unlimited Potential” or “Untapped Potential” it gives even more meaning to the phrase, “UP Only!”.
Each week I explore motivating ways to consider the word UP to increase our own “UP Potential”.
I often have extremely vivid and wild dreams. Many of them I remember quite clearly when I wake up and my husband always enjoys a good laugh at the generally ridiculous plots. Unfortunately, upon recall, they seldom make much sense and they certainly don’t seem to ever have a real message.
But one dream I had about seven years ago has stuck with me and although the plot was ridiculous, the images are still vivid, the feelings it conjured up still tangible, and it’s message very clear: LOOK UP!
In the dream I was told that one of my colleagues, a softball coach, had been sent in a space shuttle to the moon. Her mission was only to last a couple of days, but she had been there nearly a week and I was given the mission to bring her back as soon as possible.
I was told that I must leave straight away and that it was extremely urgent that I get the softball coach to return immediately. I took the mission seriously and before I knew it I found myself inside my own space shuttle headed straight to the moon. I remember looking down at all the lights, switches, and buttons on the control panel and being surprised that I knew how to fly the space craft. It felt like I had done it before.
Suddenly, in a way that only happens in dreams, I found myself on the moon and in the same shuttle as the softball coach. I was explaining desperately to her that I was given strict instructions for us to return immediately. She attempted to persuade me to let her stay, but in my mind she was in danger and it was my mission and responsibility to get her back. I radioed the control tower to let them know we were returning promptly.
In the cock pit, there was a small circular window to my left and I remember thinking to myself, I really need to take a look at the view. It would be the opportunity of a lifetime to have the chance to see the whole earth in its majestic blue form from outer space.
I put the thought in the back of my mind as I was wholly consumed with the more immediate task of piloting the big space shuttle and returning myself, the space craft, and the softball coach back to earth safe and sound. I looked intensely at the instrument panel and anxiously calculated the trajectory and speed I would need to safely re-enter the atmosphere. I remember a tremendous feeling of relief and even surprise as I successfully guided the craft back through layers of atmosphere and into the familiar blue, cloud-filled skies of earth.
However, I suddenly had a new and very valid concern. I was quickly approaching a big city about the size of New York and it donned on me that while I was taught how to fly the space craft, no one taught me how to land it!
As I desperately considered my situation, I noticed a large expanse of green grass and felt new hope. I put all my energy and attention on the field ahead and used every ounce of strength I had left to steady the space craft. I remember the very corporeal feeling of adrenaline in my veins and the white-knuckled, vice-like grip I had on the control wheel as I miraculously landed the craft safely on the field.
My dream then seamlessly, yet inexplicably, transported me to the next scene where I found myself at a convenience store payphone calling my mom. The adrenaline was still pumping through my body and I was talking a mile a minute to keep up with my breath in a fruitless attempt to convince my mom that I had successfully been sent on a mission to the moon and back. I felt frustrated that she didn’t believe me, but I assured her it was a far too visceral experience to have been just a dream.
As I relayed my adventure to my mom in exciting detail, I suddenly remembered something that made my stomach drop into a pit of deep regret.
I forgot to look!
I told my mom over and over again, “I forgot to look”, “I forgot to look!” “Mom, I forgot look!” The tears flowed. It had been a life long dream to take in the majestic and surreal view of the earth from high above in outer space. But in the heat of the moment, I forgot to do the most simple thing: LOOK UP! I was so intent on my task, so consumed with looking down at the control panels in front of me, that I forgot to LOOK UP and take in a view that would have looked something like this:
I woke up from that dream with a very real physical feeling of regret and tangible disappointment. The message was clear — always remember to LOOK UP!
While there are many things that deserve your focused attention while living life, never forget to LOOK UP otherwise you could miss something that makes your life worth living.
Those of us living today are faced with a challenge the generations before never knew– looking down at our smartphones, our devices, and our tablets. We look down at them for the news, for directions, for communication, for connection and even for validity. Kids today don’t know a world where we didn’t act as robots addicted to our personal devices and gadgets.
Take a moment out of your busy day to LOOK UP, take in peoples’ faces, take in the view, find a place where you can look up and see the millions of stars in the sky, take in the miracle of a sunset and as you do, listen to your thoughts. It doesn’t matter what they are, just listen. It’s likely that if you gaze into heaven 5 minutes you will be filled with gratitude and awe. You will find solutions to your questions and discover your problems are not as big as you thought. By the way, it’s hard to be down when you are looking UP. 🙂