This summer, I drove my son to an Old Dominion University (ODU) basketball camp. During the drive I reflected on the transportation infrastructure and how we utilize it to get to various destinations. When we started on our ODU destination there were several vehicles that pulled out with us from our location. We all started traveling at various speeds and maneuvering to get into various lanes to reach various destinations. Some stayed on our path briefly and others continued with us. I was able to identify the preferences of the individuals who stayed on our path - whether they would move at a slower or faster pace or if they would brake unnecessarily. Many of them had their own strategy as they traveled to their destinations. I received a number of insights as we traveled to our destination.
Sometimes we are in separate vehicles with separate destinations. Some of us have the privilege to travel with other individuals and some must travel alone. Sometimes we may be in a separate vehicle but will arrive at the same destination or we experience the same traveling conditions as we move towards our destinations.
Sometimes we must take the road not traveled and not the road we are familiar with to get to our destinations. There is comfort in the familiar; however, if we want to maximize our potential, we must experience and thrive in uncomfortable and vulnerable circumstances.
Sometimes there may be a desire to make a U-turn and go back to our comfort. How do we manage these emotions and feelings? In what ways do we allow our emotions and feelings to exist without being driven by them? How do we process our emotions and feelings and still be the best version of ourselves? We should expand our horizons and not box ourselves into one area of success or achievement.
Sometimes we must walk with courage, knowing that fear is present. We have the confidence, curiosity, and competence to walk with courage and encourage ourselves as we explore life.
Sometimes when traveling to our various destinations there will be things we did not expect. How do we manage and make it to the destination? When there are things that occur or are unexpected ,will we wait or will we solve the problem? When we encounter things, we must develop a plan - the more specific the better. Remember that planning is valuable but understand the purpose of the plan. The plan is a guide and something to reference, so if necessary make changes to the plan to accomplish the tasks or experience the desired results.
Sometimes we utilize various vehicles to travel to our various destinations. Different vehicles serve different purposes and conditions.
Sometimes the transportation infrastructure changes, so be agile, alert, curious, free, reflective, collaborative, connected, innovative, and most importantly: BE YOURSELF!
Sometimes we must reflect on our being because this is significant to us existing, experiencing, and thriving. How do we communicate our existence and/or essential nature to ourselves and others? What are our strengths? How do we demonstrate our strengths? How do others identify our strengths?
Taking the limitations off our experiences, situations, and perspectives allows us to experience abundance and possibilities. This does not mean we do not have values, structures, and systems; this means be open, alert, agile, and innovative. In order to do this, we must realize that humans are multidimensional in our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions, and ideas. Thus, it is not an either/or, but a both/and mentality. We must trust ourselves but also establish a trusting connection with others. The communities that we choose to engage with can provide us with feedback and insight about our strengths and interactions with others. Next, trust the processes in our lives. The processes and systems will allow us to be the best version of ourselves. Remember all the previous experiences, ideas, and actions prepare us for the next challenges, situations, and triumphs. All things serve a purpose in our lives. Do not despise or be dismayed as we become the best version of ourselves. Do not think small or play small as we travel and arrive at our various destinations. Be bold and intentional! Celebrate and walk in courage!
Call to Action: Take some time and reflect on your circumstances. Pick one circumstance. For example, my child wants more independence, I am starting a new job, I am looking for other ways to generate revenue, or I want to go back to school. Then identify one thought about the circumstance. I want to go back to school, but I think I am too old. Write it down. Read it back to yourself. Then examine the emotion that you identify as you read it back to yourself. The emotion is shame. Now what action usually follows when you think and feel this way? I never apply. I have had this thought since I was 25 years old. Finally, what is the result of this thought, emotion, and action? Does this serve you? Now go back with the same circumstance and consider how you would like to show up to serve yourself.
Circumstance: I want to go to school.
Thought: I am passionate about computers and want to learn more about them.
Emotion: I am excited.
Action: I will inquire about the application process and apply this week.
Result: I start school in the spring semester.
Consider leaving a comment in the text box below or speaking with someone else about an aspect of this blog post. Additionally, you may contact me for a coaching session to explore your thought patterns and develop an accountability system.