In life, every path leads somewhere and we are all on a path of some kind. So, the important question here is this – do you know where your path is leading you?
All of us prefer to think that the path we are currently on is leading us exactly where we want to go. But is that true, or is it just wishful thinking? And how can we know?
Life is a journey
In many ways life is like any other journey and the path we choose is important. If you are going to drive from Los Angeles to New York, there is any number of ways to get there. You get to choose the path that’s right for you.
Maybe you’ll choose the scenic route because you want to relax and enjoy the trip. In this case it’s okay if it takes longer, getting there fast is not your primary concern. But what if you are on a tighter schedule? Then you might decide to take the most direct route. It’s not as pretty as the scenic route, but it will get you there a lot faster.
Each path will provide its own unique variety of experiences while still leading to the same destination. Some will be more enjoyable than others. So, the quality of the journey merits just as much consideration as the destination.
How do know which one to choose?
If you were driving across the country, you would probably use a map to help you choose the right route. Why? Because having a map would allow you to consider all the different options. Once you understood your options you would be in a good position to make an informed choice.
Unless your life is completely unstructured, and you’re willing to go anywhere the wind blows, you will want to use a map of some kind to plot your course, right? Now, I’d like to ask you two simple questions.
1. How important is the course of your life compared to
. . a trip across country?
2. Do you have a map to guide you on the journey of life?
Doesn’t it seem ironic that we will take the time to carefully plan a relatively insignificant venture like a road trip, and fail to do the same when it comes to our life course?
Timeframes and mile markers
On your drive from LA to New York, you would likely establish a timeframe and some mile markers. You would choose specific destinations along the way and then figure out when you planned to arrive at those places (tentatively anyway).
You might even allow extra time for spontaneous detours or unforeseen events. But you would have some general guidelines so you could keep track of your progress. Have you done that with regard to your life path? Hoping you’re on the right path is not the same as planning. How would you respond to the following?
1. If you haven’t taken the time to sit down and figure it out,
. . can you really say you know where you’re going?
2. If you haven’t established mile markers along the way,
. . how will you gauge your progress?
3. If you don’t have a timetable, then the cold hard truth is…
. . you are just wandering.
Nothing is carved in stone
I’m not suggesting that life should be so rigid that it doesn’t allow for adventure and discovery. That would be incredibly boring. The fact is, you can’t predict every detail of your life or allow for every possible circumstance. But that doesn’t eliminate the need for a plan.
Between LA and New York, you are liable to run into any number of unplanned events. You may decide to alter your plans along the way. Or you may decide to stay in one place an extra day or two, thus altering your timeframe. But you still know where you’re going. Your overall goal has not changed and you are still moving in the right direction.
5 basic truths about life
1. Planning ahead does not prevent the unfolding process. In fact, when you have a plan it encourages new possibilities to unfold before you. Opportunities will present themselves in accord with your established goals and actions.
2. Having a plan leads to increased freedom. Some people resist setting goals and timetables because they think it’s too restrictive. They feel that it interferes with their freedom. Nothing could be further from the truth. Going nowhere is the opposite of freedom. It’s just the illusion of freedom.
3. Knowing where you are going gives you a sense of purpose. Having a purpose builds your self-esteem and confidence. Not knowing where you are going amounts to purposelessness. It’s a lost and powerless feeling.
4. Success does not happen by accident. This goes for businesses, relationships, personal growth, and anything else worth having. You are not going to win the lottery and live happily ever after. It’s just not going to happen!
5. Reality is your friend. Taking responsibility for your own life frees you of a huge burden. Facing facts and working with current realities is much more productive than wishing things were different. Hiding from reality just encourages procrastination.
Decide where you want to go and how you are going to get there. Choose to make life happen instead of just letting it happen to you. Identify areas where you have been procrastinating and figure out why. Make a plan, establish mile markers and a timetable, then take action and follow through.
If you run into roadblocks find a way around or over them and keep moving. If your path doesn’t seem to be leading where you want to go then choose a different path. Life is a journey and there is absolutely no reason to spend it going around in circles.
Do you think it’s important to define your life path?
Did any particular point in this article resonate with you?
The lines are open!
This short video (6 min.) explains one of the main reasons why so many struggle to find real happiness, purpose, and fulfillment on their life path.