What Is A Path
Every path leads somewhere. A series of steps to a desired destination. Point A to point B. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of life’s ambitions were simple straight lines that lead to instant success? If you have lived longer than a couple of decades you know that this is rarely true.
So, what happens when you step in the wrong direction? Then the path begins to curve and the goal seems out of sight. You may begin to question the original path that you are on.
The challenge with straight paths are that they often intersect with real life: problems, mistakes, unexpected occurrences. So we must be careful to not question the path we are on solely because of a bad step we may make or an occurrence out of our control. Every human on this earth will make at least one mistake. That includes you. Even when your straight path has turned into a tangled mess you must forgive yourself for your mistake that made it so.
Paths And Lines
My favorite subject of all time is Math, with the exception of Geometry. I hated it. Yet I learned quite a bit about lines that can also be referred to as paths. Take for instance a perpendicular path. A path that is at a right angle with another path. This reminds me of paths that cross with those close to us such as family and good friends. Sometimes their influence makes us question our steps or even change them. Leading us on a journey we never intended to take.
Then there are parallel lines. Paths that run in the same direction but never touch at any point. This reminds me of our business relations. When we make the mistake of trying to carbon copy another person’s steps. The stairwell to our success is unique.
The Agony Of Defeat
It is disheartening to see the finish line of a goal only to be thrown off by something you did. As a former track athlete I know this hurt all too well. One of my races was the 400m. It is the mix of endurance and speed. You are trained to pace yourself and save the bulk of your energy for the last 200m. I remember a competition in particular where I was leading the pack. I was determined to out seat the 1st place favorite.
Rounding the corner I could see the gold medal in both eyes. It seemed a straight path to victory. Then my mistakes caught up with me. In an effort to shine I was running at a pace above my ability for too long. When I hit the 100m stretch I had no more to give. As we refer to it in track lingo, the monkey caught my back. The onset of muscle spasms and pain prohibited me from even finishing the race. I was devastated.
The Destination Is Attainable?
A path of purpose is always attainable. Even when we mess up. Even when things happen beyond your control. It may take a little longer. It may even add steps to the journey. Yet, if the vision remains the same it is worth the pursuit.
Success is rarely attained in one perfect setting. The unavoidable human error that plagues all of us will cause a twist or turn along the way. A clear purpose and true grit will push you to travel whatever path it takes to get the job done.
What I Have Learned
There is rarely something wrong with the path. The problem is usually the steps we are making. Here are some tips to make our paths straighter:
Make decisive steps: remember they are leading you somewhere
- The wrong step may make the path longer but you can still get there
- The path you are on is personal
- The path you are on will affect others
- Human error is unavoidable
- Let a clear goal propel you all the way to the end of the journey
Remember life is most enjoyable when there is heart, beauty, and true confidence.
*This post first appeared on Jennings Wire where Justina is a contributing author.