I’ve been thinking a lot about deltas this week. Actually the “delta” rivers in the picture above are pretty close to home for me on the eastern shore of the Mobile bay. I’ve been thinking more about the shape of the deltas around here that leave a triangular tract of sediment deposited in the mouth of a river. It comes from the 4th Greek alphabet letter that is the the triangular shape (Δ).
As I’ve been watching all of the amazing stories in the Summer Olympics, I see a common thread of perseverance meeting determination and 4 years of commitment. I see a correlation to the math formula that takes “delta” to determine distance. Its the distance formula that takes into account time, speed, distance and essentially velocity.
For these Olympian athletes, their deltas run every four years. In a few weeks there will be another point of beginning to traverse the training, discipline, and determination to achieve a seat in Rio for the next Summer Olympics.
I believe we all face deltas in our life. They may not be in the 4 year pace that defines olympic athletes, but they have the same principles. I sit here today as I’m blogging this post, and I see several key areas in my faith, family life, and work where deltas exist.
I tend to lean towards methodologies and strategies, especially when I’m setting goals. So, in that spirit here are 5 principles I’m suggesting for tackling the deltas in your life.
1) Identify — The first step in the journey is identifying where you are going. What are the deltas your facing? For Olympians, it’s the next games. They know exactly where they want to be in 4 years. Where do you want to be?
To hit any goal there comes a time where it moves from an idea to a movement. Just as sailors use a point on the horizon to sail, we must have a focal point that is where we’re driving to. For the Olympians this element is crystal clear.
This is where the battle is won. It’s where the day-to-day execution moves from pain to success. The path to achieving goals is paved with this principle. For the decorated Olympians this year, their success was won long before the games began. It was the commitment in the trenches every day that led to their stand on the Olympic podium.
At any given time we can all fall. We can all fail. It’s the adjustment to our trials, set-backs, and mis-steps that keep us in balance. It will ultimately be the success or failure along the journey. The best picture I saw of this was in the balance beam routines for the Olympic gymnasts. That is where you see a few toes grip and adjust the whole body to balance on a thin beam.
This is not the same as commitment. Perseverance is where determination and commitment intersect to become one unifying power. Our Summer Olympics this year are full of these stories. For every athlete participating, we find some amazing stories of perseverance leading up to the games. For others, we get to see it play out in some intense competition.
I’m thankful that we are never in a position of hopelessness behind the deltas in our life. We have a God who is our Father and Creator. He know us intimately, and has only the best plans for our lives. I’m convinced he takes more pleasure in working through these deltas with us, than just arriving on the other side. For its in the middle where life blossoms.
One closing thought to tie this back to the delta rivers. The path of least resistance will make both rivers and men crooked. Stand tall, do the work, and enjoy the journey because when one journey ends, the next one begins.
Breathe In & Smile Out,