The photo above reminds me of the highway between Los Angeles, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada. During the past 30 years, I’ve traveled that road over 100 times. On many occasions, there was a fleeting impulse to veer off one of those solitary exits and follow that road to its end, perhaps being even more defiant and swerving off-road for a more exciting adventure. But I haven’t, and chances are I never will. There is little doubt, however, the next time I make that trip, a similar urge will occur.
I don’t begrudge the fact I’ve never attempted it. It’s a silly fantasy that only happens while on that drive. There’s no undying need to venture out and more importantly, I’m not well-equipped nor trained to grapple with disaster in the middle of nowhere.
Sometimes though, life’s journey steers us in unknown directions and we are confronted with the possibility of facing this metaphorical offramp leading to what appears to be in the middle of nowhere. How do we approach these difficult and puzzling paths? Furthermore, why does such a predicament happen when we’ve worked so hard to plan each step of our journey to avoid it?
There is no road map designed exclusively for you. While there are sources available written specifically to help guide you, the best cartographer to map out your own journey is you.
There are many elements influencing our journey’s course and direction. From birth, our environment and circumstances play a huge role on how it begins. Individual personalities likewise help forge that trail. Where many stagger and misstep is in the ability to maneuver the frequent barriers and obstacles impeding their progress.
Some personalities thrive when being pushed to their limits. Alternatively, others use a more calm, contemplative approach. The emotional “firing up” creates the opposite effect and they deliberately stop in their paths.
An exit strategy
Some exit signs along highways prove to be quite helpful. When our vehicle is running low on fuel, offramps with fueling stations provide the necessary energy to keep us going.
During life’s journey, periodically a symbolic refueling encourages and motivates us to keep on an optimistic trajectory. Sometimes this is done with aid of coaches, trainers, therapists, clergy, or consultants in every imaginable field. They are trained to help you figure out what deficiencies need work and which strengths can become stronger.
While working with clients, my goal is to empower them to find their own answers and not prescribe or impose what I have deemed is best. Even if I were to believe I’ve fully uncovered all of their issues, it has no impact or meaning unless they can discover it for themselves.
One of the most valuable lessons along this journey is gaining better self-understanding. Developing a greater awareness of who we are allows us to forge a better and clearer path moving forward. Truthfully, greater self-awareness may be our journey’s ultimate goal.
Some journeys will inevitably rise above others. But when they are grateful and passionate about helping others succeed, they will be appreciated for their successes and honored for their dedication to making this world a better place.
Every journey is unique. No matter who has helped guide us along the way, our choices are what ultimately lead us to the final destination.