change your journey
Life = Road Trip
I love road trips. My wife and I try to go on a few each year. For me, the open road has always been a catalyst for change. We may have a destination, but how we get there is always up to us. Road trips are a great metaphor for life. I suppose that’s why there are so many songs about being on the road.
As I continue traveling along the highway of my life I am reminded of how much enjoyment I get from embracing change and all it teaches me. The types of trips may vary but there is always some element of change. Moments to experience, develop, decipher, explore and discover. It may start with a seemingly innocuous thought like “I need to change it up” or “I really need a change of scenery” or possibly “I should really visit….” Or my personal favorite “I need to get the hell out of here.” My decision to move overseas started just like a road trip discussion. Which led to the short, medium and long-term checklists. Which was followed by checking off tasks on the lists and the rest is history.
As Mel Robbins would say “It was simple. But it wasn’t easy.” An idea was born. A decision was made. A plan was created and executed. Regardless of what moves you into action, I believe the common thread is a need for an adventure and discovery.
We reassess, make adjustments and head off again.
I used to feel like any decision I made had a certain level of finality, which it can. I would often work myself up into a froth; so concerned about making the “wrong” decision. Thinking “what if this doesn’t work….” or “I hope this is the right decision.” Ultimately, we never really know how things will play out until we make our decision. The one thing I can say for certain is this, “take comfort in knowing we have the power to make adjustments.”
Try to look at decision making as an ongoing negotiation. It just happens that you are negotiating your way through life. Guess what, so is everyone else. I believe life is just a series of choices. Sometimes they work out. Sometimes they don’t. But either way, regardless of the outcome there is always another opportunity to make another choice. We reassess, make adjustments and head off again.
During road trips, we are faced with challenges, choices, and consequences, just like life. We take detours. We breakdown. We get lost. We have some fun. We hope it never ends. We long for home.
Whatever happens along the way I encourage everyone to take the scenic route.
“A little step may be the beginning
of a great journey.”
– UNKNOWN –
Take your time, enjoy the journey
Stop, look up and take in the scenery. For me, I used to think I would stop and look around after I had finished my work. I would often even make excuses to stay busy instead of taking the time to enjoy life. Why? I think maybe there was some part of me that liked telling people how busy I was. Maybe I liked being the martyr. Maybe I felt I needed to sacrifice my joy because I hadn’t earned my time off. I have come to realize one of the major issues with my behavior was that my mind never “got there.” I kept shifting the goal posts. I was preventing myself from enjoying the journey. I was so focused on trying to finish before I would let myself get started. I was keeping my happiness and enjoyment just out of my grasp. What I didn’t realize was that I was training myself that it is all about the destination (finishing my task), instead of the journey. I couldn’t be happy because I was busy, but I need to keep being busy to finish my work and then I could be happy. Wow! Thanks, brain.
I have come to realize that I need to ensure I maintain life balance. If I don’t take the time I need to appreciate the world around me my mind gets annoyed. My mind says “Hey just wait a damn minute! I need a break. I want some fun. I don’t want to be busy all the time.” There will always be things to keep us busy, but try to make a conscious effort at not always BEING BUSY.
I think I enjoy road trips because they are not just physical journeys, but mental journeys as well. Time passes as the road slips by and I invariably get lost in thought, reflecting on my life, postulating the future. Being in the moment and then being years away, rummaging through my mind’s scrapbook. For me, it has always been and continues to be a cathartic experience. A forum for my mind to re-organize, take stock and filter experiences. Whenever I set out, I know there is an opportunity for change and I get excited. The great unknown is laid out in front of me, ready or not here I go. Road trips have helped to shape the person I am today and for this I am eternally thankful.
“LIFE IS A JOURNEY, NOT A DESTINATION.”
– RALPH WALDO EMERSON –
Challenge yourself to enjoy life more
An odd thing happened after I accepted the job overseas (besides standing dumbfounded in my kitchen). Unsure as to where this particular journey would take me. I decided it was time to enjoy my life more. I mean really enjoy life, by embracing lots of the little things and by being present. I can tell you that it has been one of the best choices I have ever made. I have opened myself up to life and everything that it holds. I take the time to enjoy the little things and embrace the journey I am on. I have definitely adopted the view of living life as though you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Try it for yourself and I believe you will see a significant change in the quality of your life.
A shout out to the adventurers
I could list off all the people that I admire for their willingness to go and have adventures (You all know who you are). Each and every one of you has inspired me to pursue my dreams! Who inspires you? If you are not pursuing your dreams, why not?
As I close out my blog post I would like to continue with my tradition of signing off with a song.
Are you in your late 30's or 40's and thinking back on how exactly you wound up in the career you are in today? Chances are if you are like me, you took the safe path. You were told to get a job with benefits, a retirement plan and not rock the boat. Work your way up. Move up the corporate ladder. Just work hard and when you are done, retire.
Yup, you played it safe and now, you are questioning what you are doing and where you are going?
Let me ask you, do you remember when you were excited about life's possibilities? When you believed you could do anything. Do you ever wonder what happened? When did you lose touch with your passion? Have you given up on your hopes and dreams? Or, have they simply gone astray.
Sign up to for the Stop the Pity Party. Restart Your Passion 7 Day Change Challenge and begin to rekindle your passion. Reclaim your beliefs to create the life you have the responsibility to live. A life of fulfillment, possibility, wonder, and passion.