Life is a journey they say so enjoy the ride. How often we forget that. How do you enjoy it though when there always seems to be some obstacle to overcome and some person giving you grief. There never seems to be enough. You enter into contracts with yourself that if you can just achieve this goal or that goal then you will be happy. Yet the achievement of the goal brings short lived joy and then you are back to feeling like something is missing again. What if we just looked at it from a different perspective? What if we stopped focusing so much on the goal and paid more attention to the path that leads to it?
Do we even need a goal?
Yes of course we do. Goals give us hope and something to look forward to. Achieving a goal makes us feel good about ourselves and can helps us improve the quality of our lives and the lives of our loves ones. Life would be awfully mundane if we didn’t have something to work towards. In order to achieve the goal though, you need resources and you need to grow as a person as well as grow your skills and capabilities and that is where the interesting part is. That is where the fun is.
Say what? The journey is a slog!
Is it really? At any point that growth is required, extra energy is required. My son just just went through a growth spurt of note and boy did he eat during that period! His body needed energy to grow and there was even some pain involved with his bones stretching to their new length. By the same token, if we want to grow intellectually or in wisdom or in skill, then we need to put in the time and effort to do the reading, finding the right people to teach and guide us and then actually putting into practice what we have learnt and experienced so that we achieve a new outcome in our lives. And yes, it all feels like a slog of note sometimes. But there is actually way more to each of those moments and experiences than we might sometimes realise. In each of those moments are people that we are interacting with that are interesting and have the ability to enlightening and delight us if we stop to just look past what we want from them and just enjoy them. We are almost guaranteed to get way more from them than we imagined if we take the time out to “see ” them. In Zulu, you do not say hello, you say Sawbona which means “I see you”. I think that is a beautiful way to greet someone. We not only acknowledge them but also are prompted to pay attention to them. When we are able to do that, we stop taking the people in our lives and on our paths for granted. They will support our goals but they also need us to be present with them and acknowledge them. It’s a win-win situation. Work-life balance is about making choices in each moment that best serve our ambitions but also our loved ones and most importantly our souls and our relationship with God or whichever Higher Power we believe in. If we trust the Higher Power to guide us, we will always make the right decision even when it doesn’t look like it at first.
Life is Beautiful
Don’t forget to pay attention to the environment that you find yourself in. We live in such a beautiful world but we often don’t even stop to notice the trees that we drive past everyday. Do you ever notice how the trees change with seasons while driving to work or do you focus on the amount of traffic there is and the drama going on the news on your radio and snarl at the taxi driver trying to cut in in front of you every day. I am blessed in that the road I drive along to work has a view of the sea at certain points. Let me tell you… the sea never looks the same everyday. It is the most awe-inspiring sight every day. The light is different, the colour of the water is a different shade of blue or green or grey. The ships waiting to go into the harbour are always in a different position. Every day I am greeted with a different picture and each one is as beautiful as the one before. I love driving to work because I can’t wait to see what picture God has prepared for me every day. As a result, I almost never arrive at work in a bad mood or anxious regardless of what is on the agenda for the day. I have also made a decision that the inside of my home will also be beautiful and not just the functional space that it currently is so that no matter what transpires during the day, My son and I always come home to a beautiful relaxing space.
Life is about choices
Life is about the journey after all. That journey contains scenery, people and experiences. Each has it’s own role to play in making the journey as exciting and rewarding as we would like it to be. We always have a choice when it comes to who we want to have in our lives and we don’t have to keep those that don’t appreciate us or “see” us no matter how much we love them. Not even family. Here’s the very hard lesson I have learnt, especially over this past year, it doesn’t matter if you choose to have someone in your life and choose to love them and make them a priority in your life if they don’t choose you right back and assign you the same level of importance in their life. You need to choose people who choose you everyday. Anything less is doing yourself a disservice.
We also have a choice about the environment we live out your lives in. It may not start at the top of the rung but we can make it as beautiful and as functional as our resources allow until our circumstances change. When we need a change of scene, for some of us, it is as simple as stepping outside the door and looking ahead. If looking ahead is an ugly sight, look up. The sky is amazing even on a cloudless day. Mother Nature brings her A-game to the party every single day. She will never let us down. Grounding ourselves in Mother Nature’s beauty also brings us a sense of peace that nothing else can.
And when one journey ends…
And when you reach that goal that you have been aiming for, pat yourself on the back, dance like no-one is watching and don’t forget to share the love with all those people, great and small, that got you there because whether you like to admit it or not, you did not get there alone. They each played a role either through opening doors for you, guiding you, loving you at your most miserable/ugly/selfish times and making sure that you have everything that you need because they wanted to see you succeed.
Enjoy the ride you guys and always take the scenic route with pit stops along the way . 😉