Life is like a cross country walk. You’ll be on many paths and you’ll find yourself at numerous crossroads. It’s at these crossroads that you’ll make the decisions which will determine the direction your life will take. Your happiness hinges on how well these choices work out, and how you handle it when they don’t turn out as well as you’d hoped.
Some paths end up taking you deep into the woods, where it’s easy to get lost in the thick foliage. A few paths take you on a steep uphill climb above the timberline where you’re able to gain great perspective, but at the cost of struggling up the treacherous side of a mountain. Some paths will lead you to the water, beautiful but dangerous when storms kick up waves and rip currents.
It’s important to carefully consider your choices by doing your best to determine where you think each of the paths in front of you will lead. But be careful not to let your fears cause you to freeze at the crossroads or you’ll never get to anywhere you want to be. All of the paths will present you with problems, so focusing on what could go wrong will make any path seem impossible.
After having used your head to thoughtfully examine the criteria for choosing a path, let your heart make the final decision. Paying attention to how your heart feels about the possible destinations that lie in front of you will help you to generate the energy you’ll need for the journey. Your heart will tell you which end point will provide you with the passion necessary for having the energy to persevere along a particular path.
Once you’ve made your choice and taken your first step down a selected path, stop looking back at the crossroads. You cannot go back in time to undo a choice, so appreciate what’s positive about being on the path that you’ve chosen.
Looking back at past choices with regret weakens you. You make the best choices you can at the time given what you know at that moment. If you could have done better, you would have. Turn your thinking around by telling yourself, “No mistakes, only lessons.” Learn something from every choice you make, and use newly acquired knowledge to look forward and make better judgments when making decisions in the present moment.
Even if you’ve made good choices, bad things will happen. Nature operates according to its own rules, and there will be unexpected storms, slippery slopes, floods and drought. This isn’t personal – it happens to everyone. It’s just another crossroads. Stop complaining and start figuring out what to do to get to a better place. Remember, the greatest obstacle to learning is the belief that you already know and that someone else has a lot to learn.
When you’re on a difficult stretch, you’ll be scared. But you can overcome your fear by reminding yourself that your troubles are temporary. The sooner you figure out how to navigate through the challenge, the sooner you’ll get to a good place.
A challenging path doesn’t go on forever. What’s important is to be committed to persevering in order to arrive at the next crossroads with the new knowledge and stronger resolve you’ll need to make the best choice possible.
Carry a backpack for storing tools that you acquire along the way. Remembering to use what’s worked in the past is helpful. Be careful how you use your tools. A small shovel, for example, can help you plant a garden to grow nourishing foods. But if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Use tools to enable progress and generate the positive emotions that give you energy to get to your desired destination.
Your path will cross many others. Always collaborate with the people you meet at these intersections. Learn what to expect if you proceed down the path they’ve been on. After weighing their suggestions about the best way to progress along a path, decide for yourself how you think it’s best to proceed. You’re responsible for your choices.
To make good decisions you must learn to respect your inner guide. Focus on your own pathway rather becoming distracted by where other people are going. It will require all of your attention and energy to get to positive places. You’re on a journey to fulfill your purpose. Take time to listen to your spirit when it whispers the directions for getting you to your desired destination.