Always keep your eye on the future

Forward motion comes from looking forward.

As always, though, before I venture down this rabbit hole, let me tell you about my week as the mayor of the best small town in America.

When we are connected, we enhance our ability to look forward. We give ourselves extra chances to learn and grow. We also find more opportunities to help one another.

Recently, I invited our area clergy together at city hall for a monthly meeting. My hopes for this regular session is that we have a chance to do all of the above. Participants have a chance to share what items they have going on and maybe even attract other volunteers for various projects.

This first session was a wonderful chance to hear from several members of our community and to make those connections for tomorrow and beyond. Thank you to those who attended this first session, and I hope it grows with each coming month.

Not long ago, the city team had a chance to sit down and pitch around $15 million worth of road improvements to the state. This is broken up in three segments of O’Brien Street, and if awarded, we are looking at 2027 being the construction year. Yes, you read that correctly, and we are here in 2022 talking about what needs to happen in 2027 for our community. Will we get all three segments? I don’t know. Will we get one of the three? Again, I don’t know.

Whatever we get. we will adjust our planning and programming and keep looking forward and adjusting from what we have learned in the past.

Have you ever had a chance to attend a Special Olympics event? On Jan. 8, the Seymour Noon Lions Club held the 39th annual basketball tournament. This event will put a smile on your face and warm your heart no matter what mood you think you are in when you arrive. The athletes are encouraging to one another, and even the officials on the court are helping both teams as the game goes on. It is a great reminder of what a beautiful world we live in.

Thank you, Noon Lions, for all of the hard work you put in to host the event, and an even bigger thank you to all of the athletes, coaches and support staff who help get teams ready to play. I am sure it is not an easy task and yet I see many of the same faces volunteering each year.

Back to that opening thought. Oftentimes, when I catch myself drifting down a negative path, it is because I am focused on looking back. I am not trying to see how we improve for tomorrow. Now don’t get me wrong. We have to look backwards to learn from our past, but learning from it and dwelling on it are two completely different things.

Always take a quick look and grab the lessons that you can, but then you need to shift to the next time. Maybe if you are looking at an event, you shift to the next year’s version. If it is implementing a new piece of software, focus on how it will improve your future. Will it save you time later? Will it make reporting easier or actually save you time at a later date?

Focus on the outcome to get yourself moving forward. As much as we want to, we rarely get a perfect score on the first try. We will always have a learning curve, especially when implementing something new for a group.

Sports commentator Erin Andrews said, “Success doesn’t happen overnight.” And she is correct. Be ready to take what you have learned from the first version and grow before you head into the second version. As she continues on the same quote, she says, “Keep your eye on the prize.”

Always keep your eye on the future and how you want it to end up in the long run. When you do, you will find your thoughts are happier and more positive. Much like the Special Olympics athletes earlier or the request for funding five years in the future or even just the start to a new year where we get to get back to normal and work for a better tomorrow, it all comes back to keeping our eye on the prize.

Thank you all for allowing me to serve as your mayor and letting me put my focus on the future, which allows me to continue to cultivate my positive mindset for our community’s tomorrow.