I was out walking recently, getting ready for my Dublin to Galway 250km charity walk which I will hopefully be half way through as you read this Thought for the Week! Anyway I was walking around pitches close to my house in training for the walk, which is in aid of Gorta Self Help Africa, Galway Rape Crisis Centre and a homeless refuge charity in the Midlands. While walking, my mind wandered back to my hurling days at secondary school. I remembered a life-changing incident for a close friend of mine, let’s just call him Gary. During a hurling match, Gary latched onto a loose ball around the middle of the field and with a sudden burst of speed made a beeline towards the goal posts. The crowd were shouting loudly and his team mates were screaming frantically. This seemed to give Gary added zest. He dashed past the 45 metre line and walloped the ball over the bar for a wonderful point! When the sliotar hit the ground after going over the bar, Gary discovered that he had run the wrong way and that he had scored for the wrong team! This was one for the books and one he would never live down.
But is this mistake something peculiar to Gary alone? Aren’t there a lot of us running in the wrong direction? Scoring for the wrong team? We hear the crowd we associate with shouting about something. We interpret this as approval and put new energy into our blissful stupidity of running the wrong way, scoring for the wrong side. Let’s stop right now and take a look around us. Where are we headed? We have to be going somewhere. We have to have some kind of goal because that is the way we are made. Functionally people are somewhat like a bicycle. A bicycle maintains its balance and equilibrium as long as it is moving toward something. We are so built that if we lack personal goals, we lose our balance and sense of direction. This is why in this game of life, we have to bring things into focus and determine what our goal is. Where do we really want to go? If we are just running, we are apt to expend a great deal of energy with nothing to show for our pains in unwholesome pursuits. There is wisdom in the saying, ‘Look before you leap’.
The Alphabet Goal of Life
A – Avoid negative sources, thoughts, people.
B – Believe in yourself.
C – Consider things from all angles.
D – Don’t give up or give in.
E – Enjoy life today. Tomorrow may not come.
F – Family and friends are hidden treasures.
G – Give more than you planned to give.
H – Hang on to your dreams.
I – Ignore those who discourage you.
J – Just do it!
K – Keep doing no matter how hard it seems! It will become easier.
L – Love yourself first and most.
M – Make it happen.
N – Never lie, cheat or steal. Always strike a fair deal.
O – Own up your mistakes.
P – Practice makes you perfect.
Q – Quitters never win and winners never quit.
R – Read, study and learn everything important in your life.
S – Stop procrastinating.
T – Take control of your destiny.
U – Understand yourself better to understand others.
V – Visualise it!
W – Want it more than anything.
X – Xcellerate your efforts.
Y – You are unique. Nothing can replace you.
Z – Zero in on your goal and go for it.
Thought for the week
As your thought for the week, may you always feel the loving presence of those who hold you in their thoughts and prayers. May your spirit find what it needs to sustain you in your quest for your goal in life and make you look before you leap and have faith in your leap and may you discover your inner strength and face all difficulties with dignity and grace.
PS… I am at this present moment on my big birthday charity walk from Dublin, probably walking into Clara in County Offaly, just half way there to Galway. I will be arriving in Galway on Saturday 1 April.
Now that I have reached the 50-year milestone, I’ve been reflecting on the amazing and fulfilled life that I’ve had so far. I feel privileged to have been blessed with so much, such as amazing family, friends and neighbours and as a result I want to celebrate both my 50th birthday and my 25th year working in the developing world, in Africa and Asia, by walking from Dublin Bay to Galway Bay, to raise funds for very worthy charities.
Starting out on this challenge – walking 250km in six days, which is similar to completing eight marathons in six days from Dublin Bay – I will head west to Galway Bay via Lucan, Leixlip, Maynooth, Kilcock, Kinnegad, Mullingar, Kilbeggan, Tullamore, my hometown of Clara, Moate, Athlone, Ballinasloe, Kilreekill, Loughrea, Craughwell, Oranmore and finally Galway.
My aim is to raise much-needed funds for Gorta-Self Help Africa (www.selfhelpafrica.org), Galway Rape Crisis Centre (www.grcc.ie) and a homeless refuge for families in the Midlands to help support women and children’s projects in Ireland and Africa. And I will need all the support I can get. If you would like to support me, you can do so by making a donation or joining in with me on a section (or all!) of my walk. Anyone who is interested in walking with me, especially for the 5km walk on Saturday at 3pm from Claddagh Hall along the Prom, let me know and I will have a sponsorship card sent out to you, or you can make a donation at the Claddagh Hall on Saturday.
All donations are greatly appreciated and can be made online at www.selfhelpafrica.org/ie/baytobay, at www.grcc.ie, in person at Claddagh Hall on Saturday 1 April or www.altruism.ie/fundraising_page/ronan-scully-fundraising-page-for-gorta-self-help-africa.
Please support Ronan Scully on the final leg of his 250km journey across Ireland – a 5km walk along The Prom on Salthill from Claddagh Hall on Saturday 1 April, all in aid of Gorta Self Help Africa, the Galway Rape Crisis Centre and a homeless refuge for families in the Midlands.
The 5km walk takes place on Saturday 1 April at 3pm along the Prom in Salthill from Claddagh Hall and back again.
To donate or for more details, go directly to Ronan’s events page by visiting www.selfhelpafrica.org/ie/baytobay