Blinders, Binoculars and the Horse

(Contributed by Mitch Greene)

Imagine a racehorse that lives only to win. Because it always has blinders on while outside, all it sees is the finish. The only goal and objective of the horse are to reach that line. It has 100% laser focus. Now imagine that one day while in the middle of a race, the horse’s blinders slip off, and for the first time in its life, the horse sees everything that lies between the start and the finish. Suddenly the finish isn’t all that appealing because the world became bigger. A lot bigger.

Sometimes I feel like the horse in this story. Goals are important, helpful and fulfilling, but sometimes I get caught in a never-ending cycle of completing goals. Every semester of college I get a new syllabus for every class, detailing every single little thing I’ll have to do for the next several months. It’s all planned out to make it easy.

Write this paper. Take this exam. Go for a run. Eat. Oops, I almost forgot - brush my teeth. Walk the dogs. Clean up the house. On and on and on. Task one, task two, task three. With the never-ending list of life yanking on us from every angle, it can take all we have to not fall apart. We strap in, put on the blinders, grab the binoculars and find the fastest path to finish. What’s the finish though? The end of the task? There will always be more. Bedtime? There’s always tomorrow’s work. Death? Now that’s just bleak. The problem isn’t you, the finish, or the task. The problem is the track and the blinders we refuse to get rid of.

Did you know mirrors are green? Did you know the moon always faces us with the same side? Did you know there’s a sport called crashed ice? Did you know that when you shuffle a deck of cards it is most likely the first deck of cards ever to be arranged in that order?

The world around us is incredible. Take a detour; the finish will still be there. Drop the binoculars. Take off the blinders. Wake up and smell the roses. See the world around you. Ask questions. Enjoy life because it’s short.

Go shuffle some cards and wonder at the fact that the order of the cards is an absolute first.