Stride or Strive

Stride – “walk with long, decisive steps in a specified direction.”

Strive – “make great efforts to achieve or obtain something”, “struggle or fight vigorously”

As someone who is all about ambition and drive, it is only obvious that I will encourage myself and anyone to be a go-getter. Push yourself past your limits and comfort zones. To do what it takes! If you listen to most motivational speeches with regards to pursuing one’s goal, if I am honest, sounds exhausting. We have all heard the success stories which always seems to include times of hardship. While this is great for personal, emotional and physical growth, are there times where it can be avoided if we choose to stride instead? Maybe there is a simpler way to achieve our goals without having to “Strive”.  Now do not take this to mean that you will avoid struggle or failures, because if it isn’t one thing it’s another, or maybe ten other things. It is also not an excuse to not get things done.

Not Everyday Struggle

By the definition of each word, you can see that one is clearly preferable to the other. Now I do not like to write about something that I have not experienced or is at least going through. I like to think of myself as quite driven. I know what I want and I what I am willing to do to achieve it. But I do find that over time I have been striving to achieve things. This is not necessarily the worst thing, there are some things that if you want you will have to struggle to get through. However as real as the struggle is, not everything has to be.

Tired of Burning Out?

One thing that I have learned and come to understand through personal experiences, as well as teachings, is this; when you strive to obtain something, to maintain it you must continue striving. This can be and is exhausting. I do not know about you but I do not want to fight vigorously 24/7 for as long as I live and have the passion for my dream to maintain it. At some point, you will burn out. That is why you will find that you easily lose passion for something you once loved when it becomes a job.

So what does it mean to Stride?

As defined it is taking those decisive steps which can be maintained over a long period of time without burning out. For me, this will include the spiritual aspect of my life that God is my source and when I am attentive to his Word, and so I do rush into blessings that I do not have the maturity for.  It’s like this, there is a time for everything, Mike Todd puts it like this when you give a child a car that they are supposed to have at 16 years at 8 years of age, they are bound to destroy it. There is nothing wrong with buying the car for your child but it was not at the right time. Therefore the right thing at the wrong time causes you more harm than good.

Slow and Steady Like a Tortoise

Striding may seem like a longer period to get to your destination, but think of this way; You will get to your destination without having to sacrifice your relationships, life and so much more. What is the point of striving to be a CEO of a company so you can give your family all the things of this world but cannot attend your child’s school play? It is too easy to lose track of the important things when you strive always and you end up with severed and dysfunctional relationships with family and friends. You have to ask yourself is it really worth it?

Just as I am learning to stride more and strive less, I employ you to access your life and see whether you are striving and burning out too soon or Striding purposefully with Grace.

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