It was at an early age that I discovered I had poor eyesight. I was very nearsighted and could not see clearly at a distance. As a child, I hated wearing eyeglasses. They were uncomfortable and didn’t look good. Because they fogged up so much, I didn’t even believe they were reliable. Yes, they gave me the ability to see distant objects, but they came at a cost. It was a cost I wasn’t willing to pay. The cost to me as a seven year-old wasn’t financial. It was comfort.
Over the course of the next seven years I suffered greatly, because I chose not to wear glasses. At the age of thirteen, it almost cost me my life. For over twenty years after that I wore contact lenses. Five years ago I had Lasik surgery to correct my 20/400 eyesight.
Without glasses, contacts, or Lasik, I was nearly blind. Not being able to see at distance, I was only able to see the things within close proximity. How does that affect decision making? You miss all the markers up ahead that are designed to direct you along the correct path. Long-term planning is impossible, because you have no idea what is on the road before you.
When I look back upon my youth, I often wonder if my nearsightedness went beyond my ability to see. I could never answer the question of what I wanted to be when I grew up, even when I grew up. I had no ability to see at distance and instead only grasped at the things that were within reach. These short-term decisions turned out to be mere band-aids covering up the wrong turns I made. Because I couldn’t see the signs designed to point me in the right direction, I used way more band-aids than necessary. Similar to my youthful desire to not wear glasses, this caused much suffering. I only had one solution. Correct my vision!
How do you correct your vision? It is a good question, and one that I am still trying to figure out. Like eyesight, it doesn’t always stay the same, and therefore you need to constantly make the adjustments. Your eye doctor will ask you, “Is it better 1, or better 2?” It is a simple question and if 1 is clearer, you should choose it. Do you have someone in your life that can ask you a similar question? Are you consuming enough information that clarifies one path over another?
Choosing to correct your vision isn’t comfortable. You have to clearly identify what it is that you want and then figure out how to get there. It often means you have to ignore the things close to you preferring rather to stay the course toward a loftier and more fulfilling goal. It means putting on your glasses, even when it is not comfortable.
We can go through life blind, grasping only at the things right in front of us. It is a choice that many are content with but offers no lasting value. It is a way full of snares and pitfalls. But if we correct our vision, we have the ability to see what is ahead. We can make the adjustments and stay on the path to the life we desire.