What is your “DISTANCE TO EMPTY”?


In my car, on the dashboard, I have a prompt that shows me how many miles I have left before I run out of gas.  In fact, I will even get a blinking light if I’m getting too low on fuel.

As I was staring at this prompt the other day, I thought what an applicable message   “Distance to Empty” is to so many areas of life.  What I mean is this:  I have believed for many years that one of the most neglected areas of self-management is the lack of time people spend on evaluating how their life is doing according to the vision they have for it.

Tell me if the following has any resemblance to your life:   The day starts out and a person gets on the fast track of life. They gobble down something that they count as a breakfast, then rush to work, survive the fast-paced demands and stresses of the job, battle traffic home, then, either rush off to some kind of extra-curricular activity for our children, and/or some church activity,  OR just VEG on the couch at home in front of the TV, and then go to bed>>>only to start the same pattern the following day.  Sound familiar?

Too often, I find life can be a mindless, habit of activities, which goes on basically the same, day after day, year after year.  But one day, we stop in our tracks and we say to ourselves, “where did the time go?”  or “I can’t believe my children are all grown up” or “I’ve had enough of this certain habit/addiction, I’ve got to stop”.

My point is that I believe we would all greatly benefit in our personal life (and even organizations would too), if we be more intentional about taking the time to evaluate our current circumstances and the future “destinations” or goals we have for the different areas of our responsibilities.

Success in any area of life does not just happen. There needs to be thought given and actions taken to make your dreams come true.  

What I have also found is that in the hard work of executing a goal and seeing a victory occur in your life, there needs to be times of rest–a time of regrouping, of making adjustments, of being re-energized, a time to refocus.  If you are taking a long distance car trip, you won’t be able to make it on one tank of gas. You will need to get some gas eventually, probably a few times.

It’s the same with us. Life is a journey and you too, need to find  intentional times to refuel.  Bur, first, you need to really understand that principle.  You need to realize you can’t keep on living full-throttle, pedal to the metal. You need to understand and anticipate you will need to plan on taking a rest stop.  How much longer do you have before you are on empty?

Whether we are talking about your emotional health, your physical health, your spiritual health, if you are not careful, you will come to a time where things will just come to a screeching halt, or another description would be that you will just burn out.

Be careful my friend. 

Take the time while you can to be intentional about monitoring your own “distance to empty”  warning signals (stress, irritability, lack of sleep, making mistakes, etc.) and refuel while you can.

As you do, you will be happier, more successful, and more satisfied with your journeying on through this life.


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