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Always Finish The Race

Submitted by Carl Coffee
My favorite movie of all-time is Cool Runnings. It is loosely based on the true story about the 1988 Jamaican Bobsled team who competed in the Calgary Winter Olympics. I loved it as a 12 year old kid, and always kept it as my favorite movie. It is silly, but also inspirational. When I watch the movie now, I look at it at a much deeper level.
Here’s what I mean. After they qualify for the Olympics, they get three runs, on three separate days. The first run is a disaster, the second run is incredible, and the third one is when they crash. I am going to break these runs down for you and compare them to everyday life.
The driver of the 4-Man sled was obsessed with watching the Swiss team practice and compete. Before the Jamaican’s first run, they copied the Swiss’ team style and technique and they weren’t true to themselves. Their first run was a bust, and they ended up in last place after the first day.
After some reflection and pep talks, the team went back to their roots. They were true to themselves, and they were 100% prepared for the second run. Everything clicked and they moved into 8th place.
The final run they once again were true to themselves. They were pumped up, and more than prepared. Their starting push time was incredible and the announcer even went as far as calling them “champs” during that run. Unfortunately, that rickety old sled they used couldn’t hold up and they crashed. Everyone knows what happened next. They picked up the sled and finished the race.
Now, why am I breaking down Cool Runnings? I think you can use the three runs they had and can make them relate to your lives.
You can be like the first run and try to be someone else. You can be jealous of other people. You can go off course and not be true to yourself. And like that last place run by the Jamaican team, you may also see yourself finishing in last. You won’t be happy when you look at yourself in the mirror, because you aren’t being true to who you are.
You can be like the second run and be true to yourself. God gives us all so many special and unique gifts. Whether it’s the gift of kindness or being understanding, the gift of humor, or just being a loyal friend, we all have something that makes us who we are. When you realize what you can offer, it is important to use our gifts for good. When you do this, you will see the fruits of your labor.
The third run is the true reality of life. Sometimes you can be prepared. Sometimes you can go into a situation or relationship with all of the best intentions in the world. Sometimes you can be the best “you” possible, but something will still go wrong. That is life. However, just like those four Jamaicans who crashed the sled, you can get up and finish the race. Always finish the race.

New Year Essay
"I shouldn't have..." "If only I'd known..." Whether it's an outright wrong, an unwise decision or a missed opportunity, we humans tend to harp on the past, often to the detriment, or even paralysis, of our present endeavors and future potentials.

Some would advise us to let bygones be bygones and get on with our lives. We are physical beings, and the laws of physics (at least as they stand now) dictate that time runs in one direction only. So why not simply put the past behind us, especially since the past is behind us whether we put it there or not?

It's advice we do not take. We continue to feel responsible for what was, continue to attempt to rewrite our histories, continue to regard our past as something that somehow still "belongs" to us. Something in our nature refuses to let go, refuses to reconcile itself with the one-directional flow of time.

Yes, we are physical beings; but there is something in us that transcends the physical. Man is an amalgam of matter and spirit, a marriage of body and soul. It is our spiritual self that persists in the belief that the past can be redeemed. It is our connection with the spiritual essence of our lives that grants us the capacity to "return" and retroactively transform the significance of past actions and experiences.

What is this "spiritual essence" with which we seek connection? And how does it enable us to literally change the past?

Not just man, but every object, force and phenomenon has both a "body" and a "soul." A thing's body is its physical mass, its quantifiable dimensions, its "hard facts." A thing's soul is its deeper significance, the truths it expresses, the function it performs, the purpose it serves.

By way of example, let us consider the following two actions: in a dark alleyway, a knife-wielding gangster attacks a member of a rival gang; a hundred yards away, a surgeon bends over a sedated patient lying on the operating table. The "body" of these two actions are quite similar: one human being takes hold of a sharp metal object and slices open the belly of a second human being. But an examination of the "soul" of these two events, the desires that motivate them, the feelings that suffuse them, the aims they seek to achieve, reveals them to be vastly different deeds.

In other words, man is a spiritual creature in that he imparts significance to his deeds and experiences. Things don't just happen, they happen for a reason, they mean something, they further a certain objective. The same event can therefore mean different things to different people; by the same token, two very different events may serve the same purpose and elicit identical feelings, imbuing them with kindred souls despite the dissimilarity of their bodies.

The body of our lives is wholly subject to the tyranny of time, the "hard facts" cannot be undone. A missed flight cannot be unmissed; a harsh word uttered to a loved one cannot be unspoken. But the soul of these events can be changed. Here we can literally travel back in time to redefine the significance of what occurred.

You oversleep, miss that flight, and never show up for that important meeting. The initial significance of that event: your boss is furious, your career suffers a serious setback, your self-esteem plummets. But you refuse to "put the past behind you." You dwell on what happened. You ask yourself: What does it mean? What does it tell me about myself? You realize that you don't really care for your job, that your true calling lies elsewhere. You resolve to make a fresh start, in a less profitable but more fulfilling endeavor. You have reached back in time to transform that slumbered hour into a wake-up call.

Or you have an argument, lose your cool, and speak those unforgivable words. The next morning you're friends again, agreeing to "forget what happened." But you don't forget. You're horrified by the degree of your insensitivity; you agonize over the distance that your words have placed between the two of you. Your horror and agony make you realize how sensitive you truly are to each other, how much you desire the closeness of the one you love. You have reached back in time to transform a source of distance and disharmony into a catalyst for greater intimacy and love.

On the material surface of our lives, time's rule is absolute. But on its spiritual inside, the past is but another vista of life, open to exploration and development with the power of "return" by then going back to transform the significance of past actions and experiences. Amazing!

By Yanki Tauber

Happiness / Life Inspirational Quotes, Motivational Thoughts and Pictures
Seven Wonders of Life -
1. Your mother - who is the first person to welcome you in this world.
2. Your Father – who is the first person to go through all the hardships just to see you smile!
3. Your sibling – the first person to teach you the art of ‘sharing and caring’.
4. Your friend - the first person to teach you how to respect people with different opinions and viewpoints!
5. Your love - the first person to make you realize the value of sacrifice and compromise and the first one for whom you’ve to fight the world to be together
6. Your children – the first little person to teach you how to be selfless and think about others before yourself
7. Your grandchildren – the only creatures who make you want to live the life, all over again…

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