Momentary or Momentous

Would you say that your thoughts, words and deeds are more often momentary or momentous? Are they fleeting and brief or sustainable and significant? How large is your perspective on life? Is it narrowly focused in relation to the circumstances right before your eyes or is it more expansive, with an eye for the “big picture?”

The pages of history are filled with the thoughts, words and deeds of those who lived momentous lives, who had vision and perspective and who dared to live rather than simply survive. The majority of cemeteries, however, are filled with the remains of lives lived in mediocrity, according to the status quo. While there are likely many differences between the two, one particular distinction can be found in the scope and the quality of thought brought to bear in relation to the details of living.

It is easy to become a lazy thinker. It happens in many ways, some more subtle than others, but on particular type of complacency can be found in the unwillingness or lack of interest in understanding the larger context in which the issue at hand is framed.

No issue you will ever face in life exists in a vacuum. If you look closely enough (and step back far enough to gain perspective on the matter) you will see that the issues you meet from day to day are the effect of one or more causes that are the most recent links in a long chain of causality. Failing to consider cause is a sign of lazy thinking.

Looking at the issues you face only in relation to how they affect you personally also gives evidence of lazy, momentary thinking. Many people vote for political leaders on this basis, for instance, never giving thought to might be best for the Republic, to which they have pledged allegiance. Such short-term, selfish thinking frequently backfires, for shallow-minded self-centeredness eventually implodes.

Remember that your life is contained in a grand context, a rich and dynamic history that was built on the shoulders of your forefathers. Should you choose to live a momentous life, the decisions you make would rightly include a thought for the future, out of respect for the generations to come. To fail to do so is the hallmark of momentary thinking and lukewarm living.

You have the opportunity to live a momentous life. You needn’t try to produce significance, for it is already present within you. You must simply be brave enough to express it in relation to the issues at hand. You can get through life without much rigorous thinking, but in so doing there is little to separate you from the monkeys, I’m afraid, and your life is likely to end up having little impact on the shaping of the days to come.

Everyone was born with significance, with the potential to make a significant difference in the world we share and steward as a race. The question is: will you dare to reveal it?

11 thoughts on “Momentary or Momentous

  1. Colin

    I think another way to put this is that there are no small actions, no small decisions. If you could get a large enough perspective (larger than any one person can) you could see an interrelated decision web where everyone’s actions effect everyone else. Even though we can’t see the details of that web, that is how the world really works. Even further, our thoughts add another dimension to that web, and we would be wrong if we did not believe our thoughts influence how we live our lives.


  2. Kolya

    Great question. I often think of health in this respect as well – it is often the result of many smaller decisions such as what we’ve eaten during our lifetime, the amount and type of exercise, how we have handled stress, etc. Everything we do is interconnected and each of us most definitely has the opportunity to lead a significant, meaningful life. I plan on looking back and seeing a trail decisions and actions that can not only be an inspiration for others, but leave a legacy of a life well lived.


  3. Christie S.

    I’m just looking at a new daily planner system which incorporates a daily consideration of Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues. This post makes me realize the importance even more of breaking through the lazy ceilings, and the consideration of the virtues seems helpful. Heck, reading your blog on a daily basis is helpful!


  4. Suzy Barnes

    I think you’ve got some worthy points here to square my meditations to. It’s time to make adjustments where I might be on lazy autopilot!


  5. Joshua

    One eye focused on today, and one to gaze at the future that streams forth taking shape based on todays choices.
    If we are concerned to have a victorious fulfilling future, we are wise to handle whats with us now properly, opening doors rather than closing them.
    Thanks for bringing this perspective into the light, this consideration is momentous from yesterdays, look forward to a momentous week!
    Your daily provision keeps my gaze fixed on the “Big Picture”


  6. Coco

    If you live on automatic pilot you’ll go along with the loudest voices or the ones that can stir your most prominent leanings. None of which has anything to do with your own thinking and understanding.
    Great post!


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