Despite how much we like to think life is easy going and straightforward, it’s anything but.
It all seems so simple when we’re young and naive. We’ll go to school and get a job and reach all of our goals. It all seems within reach. We’re filled with hopes and dreams about what we’re going to do and how successful we’re going to be. And then life punches us in the mouth.
We don’t get the job, we don’t get into the school, we don’t make the team, we don’t win the award, we don’t get funded, and so on.
Even when we think we have things figured out and everything is going to plan, it can all change in a moment. Inspiration fades. Beliefs transform. Goals shift. Life happens.And that’s the thing. Life is not linear.
It doesn’t always makes sense and expecting a logical progression is folly, especially in the world we live in today. We don’t have a set of directions or a secret map that tells us what to do or where to go. Our paths are winding and filled with forks.
We are on our own. We have to figure out how to get to where we want to go. There’s only one way to do that. Seek it out. This consists of three important steps.
1. Move Forward
First and foremost is to always be moving forward. We never know what may or may not work, but the only way to find out is to try.
Explore new things, experience the world, and see where it takes you. Actively seeking our path is what allows us to find it.
2. Look Backwards
As we move forward, it is important to reflect on where we’ve gone. Look backwards at the trail being created because it will tell us a lot about ourselves.
We have to take time to notice the patterns and connect the dots along the way to get a better idea of where our path is actually heading. There’s not much we can understand going forward without first looking backwards.
3. Embrace the Setbacks
As with any process, setbacks will happen. We will all fail and go down the wrong path, only to realize the mistake we’ve made. The key here is to remain optimistic and embrace the setbacks.
Everyone’s path is comes with a hefty portion of struggles and that’s just how it goes. Rather than fret on what went wrong, cherish what went right. Appreciate the understanding realized from such trials and tribulations.
Failure is after all, just another form of learning. Embrace it.
There is not one path. There is not even the right path. There is only your path.
Following these steps will take us on our own unique journey and that is what is most important to remember. Everyone’s path is a roller coaster, but they are also very different. Comparing them does us no good. Simply focus on yours.
Furthermore, remember there are no defined paths, no formulas or guidelines or rules towards success. Life is a journey without a map, a road trip without Google, we have to search and stumble and keep moving forward. That’s why it’s worthwhile.
Life isn’t linear. Don’t approach it like it is.