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What a “Staring Contest” Can Teach You About Life

Happy Family Touching Foreheads And Staring At Each Other's Eyes

Happy family touching foreheads and staring at each other's eyes / photo set of sporty muscular Hispanic shirtless fitness man with his son over white background

“The present moment is the only moment available to us. And it is the door to all moments.” – Thich Nhat Hanh [Tweet this] | [Share on Facebook]

Have you ever noticed that the games we play as children can teach us profound lessons as adults? Let me explain.

Recently my wife Beth and I found ourselves with an entire weekend with nothing on the calendar. What a gift! We started out Saturday with a lazy morning of homemade pancakes. Then we took a family bike ride, played basketball and topped it off by swimming in the pool.

While drying off after, my son Henry asked if we could have a staring contest.

I’m competitive and I was not going to let this six-year-old beat me! We began in earnest and as the staring intensified Henry made a fist, swung it toward my face, and, although he stopped before hitting me, his tactic worked.

I blinked.

He then looked back at me with a grin of victory on his face and said, “Dad, the goal of the game is to not blink! I win!”

Looking back at him, I realized just how right he was. Not just for an impromptu staring contest, but for leading inspiring lives.

My friends, we spend much of our life blinking (also known as missing the point).

We “blink” when we live without gratitude; when we take the very people and gifts that should be dearest to us for granted.

We blink when we race through our days, our tasks, our events, our to-dos while completely missing the joy of actually doing them.

We blink when we surrender to fear; when we are nervous about how someone might respond, how something might happen, or how someday we might “arrive” instead of living fully alive in the moment.

And we blink when we shut our eyes to what’s happening around us – what’s broken in our families and communities – and what we can do to be an active part of the solution rather than a passive part of the problem.

My friends, the goal in the game of life is to not blink.

The way we win this game is to be grateful for all we have, courageous in all we do, and present to the moment at hand.

When you do this, not only do you win, but so does everyone you touch through your life each day.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

Friend, what is an example of one time that you don’t want to “blink” today? That you want to be fully present and engaged? Please share in the comments below.

4 replies on “What a “Staring Contest” Can Teach You About Life”

I don’t want to “blink” tonight when I get home from work to my 1 year old son. I’m a 40 year old first time mom who may not have the opportunity for any more children so I need to make the most of the time I have with my only child and live in the moment with him.

It is almost 6 pm. I don’t want to “blink” and not enjoy dinner with my husband. Your lunch date was the kind I enjoy. Not a bunch of people. Just a simple meal together. Thanks for reminding me to enjoy each day and live for the moment. I always enjoy your Live Inspired posts. Thanks.

Thx for sharing, Joan! I hope you enjoyed dinner with your husband that night — and every night since. Stay on fire! J

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