I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For — Song by U2
Most of us are probably familiar with this song by U2, if not, I highly recommend giving it a listen. This song popped into my head recently as I was on vacation. Yes, vacation, my first trip in 14 months. As I walked along the beach, I was scanning the sand for unusual shells, sea glass, or unique pieces of coral. Something I have always done when visiting a beach.
Over the years I have trained my eyes to quickly identify shells of unique shape and color. On most walks along the shoreline, I will automatically find little treasures where the sea meets the sand. Sometimes I am very casual about it and a shell or piece of coral happens to jump right out at me. And other times, I am heads down in full search mode, looking for exactly the right size, color, or shaped shell for my collection.
Well on my recent trip, I found myself looking but not finding, searching but not really seeing anything. After a couple of days of coming up empty, I thought about why this could be happening. And I realized that my mind had not caught up with being on vacation yet. I realized I wasn’t quite relaxed enough to see anything popping out at me, and I wasn’t focused enough to be intentional about seeking out something special. I found myself in a weird state of work and vacation limbo.
Have you ever been there? Are you there right now? Maybe it’s not searching for seashells, sea glass, or coral, but searching for something, something you aren’t quite sure about or haven’t clearly defined yet. And since what we are searching for isn’t always completely obvious, it becomes harder and harder to find. Or as the U2 song goes, “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”
We search for understanding and we find confusion instead. We look for peace only to see conflict all around us. We want answers but only seem to come up with more questions. More than anything we seek the truth and become frustrated by half-truths or lies. We really do want to find the good in others and yet we confront disappointment time and time again.
What I have found in each one of these scenarios is that we don’t find what we are looking for because we have placed ourselves in “understanding-peace-hope-truth-good” limbo. When our heart and mind are in a good space, we would tend to see everything around us that is positive whether we are searching for it or not. And when we are aligned mentally, physically, and spiritually, we have the ability to become laser-focused, seeing exactly what we set out to see. Not just what we want to see, but what we are intentionally looking for when it comes to understanding, peace, hope, truth, and goodness.
When we still can’t find what it is that we are looking for, we may need a quick “checkup from the neck up,” as Zig Ziglar used to say. We may need to snap ourselves out of that weird state of limbo, somewhere between not being relaxed enough to trust our instincts and not being confident enough to pursue what it is that we want the most. Ambiguity hinders us wherever we are, at work, at home, taking a hike, or walking along the beach looking for the perfect seashell.
Have you found what you are looking for yet? Have you identified whether it is because you are in limbo and not allowing yourself to be relaxed enough to come upon it naturally? Or are you simply lacking focus to do a thorough search? Either way, I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, and when we do find what it is we are looking for, it really will be a better than good year.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.
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