So, in the spirit of keeping it brief, let's ask the obvious questions. Like, what does going beyond even mean? And why should we do it? What is that picture supposed to be, anyway? Finally, what is the Tree of Life Version? These are all good questions, and we'll get to all of them and wrap it up. I care about your time, and, since you took the time to read this post, I'll try to keep it short, sweet, simple, and, of course, great. You ready? Great.
I have come to a point in my life where I feel like I'm ready to go beyond, and maybe you do to. I really love this definition of going beyond (not to be confused with going further). Merriam-Webster defines going beyond as doing more than something, or doing more than what is expected or required. That's awesome, at least to me 😂 (woah, a new emoji. I'm trying to expand my horizons, you know, do more than what's expected 😉). Going beyond involves recognizing your own expectations and limitations, your own requirements and assignments, and your own goals and aspirations, and then taking them to the next level.
If it isn't clear why you should go beyond, maybe it's because you are totally okay with just living up to other people's expectations. You're just cool with doing what everyone requires of you, you know, sorta living life and catering to other people's demands and requests. That's cool, right? Not for me. And I don't think that's cool for anyone. Unless you want to live life under other people's expectations, it may be time to strive for what's beyond.
Okay, JB. That's all well and good, and I feel like I want to go beyond. That's great! Yeah, and I think I understand what you're trying to say so far, JB. Great! I love this dialogue we're having here. Go on. Okay, well, what does this have to do with that weird, tree, volcano, head picture thingy up there? I'm sooo glad you asked! I was just about to get to that (it's like you read my mind, woah). I must have showed a hundred people that picture from above, and regardless of what age, gender, or environment I worked with, the results were usually the same. Mostly tree responses, about a quarter of the responses were explosive or fiery, one in ten had to do with heads, and the last five percent were anything and everything else.
I want to focus on the 5%. These people went beyond the typical parameters and gave me all sorts of new, crazy, inspiring answers. One person saw a melting crystal heart, another saw a flaming lollipop on a pedestal, one person even said she saw an upside-down pineapple (I see it too 😉). These answers totally changed the way I looked at the picture, they broadened my horizons, they had me thinking outside the box. These 5% turned things upside down and looked at the picture in totally new ways. I asked them for a simple answer and they gave me more than my expectations. They went beyond.
Here's an example. Most people in my church typically read the King James Version of the Bible. It's commonly read, but sometimes other versions can increase understanding. With that in mind, I looked beyond the standard versions and checked about a dozen uncommon versions to find one that I could understand and that you could understand. So, I chose the Tree of Life Version. It's a cool version, isn't it? (And it has the word beyond in it, how awesome is that? 😉)
But, let me wrap this up. Let's focus back on the picture from the beginning. Once you see past the tree, you open up a whole new world of possibilities. Think about that for your life. Is there something you should look at in a new way? Is there a new approach to a situation that you have been missing? It's time to go beyond expectations, beyond requirements, beyond your wildest dreams.
So, what are you waiting for? Go! 😉