The Map of Your Life
I just finished a team call talking about this very subject so I thought it would be a good topic to expound upon here. When it comes to the journey of your life what map are you following? That may seem like a strange question so let me explain further.
I love history....especially history of the Old West. My favorite stories are those that involve men an women and the things they overcame to become successful settlers in a land they knew little about. Back in those days there was no television, radio, or internet. Books were limited (especially on the unsettled West). What do you think led these folks to venture out from what was comfortable, known, and familiar to them to seek out something that was foreign, unknown, and potentially dangerous? I believe it had to do with their spirit and how they envisioned life being. I also believe it had something to do with their sense of adventure and not settling for the status quo....even back then.
We can apply history to our lives today. I love to talk about Point A to Point B when I'm in leadership mode. I feel tying a story to what I'm trying to get across makes it a lot more plausible for folks and it can perhaps be easier to understand. You must be able to identify where you are (Point A). You also must have your eyes and heart fixated on where you want to achieve in life (Point B). The other reality is that you must be prepared for the unknowns that will undoubtedly happen between these two points.
Imagine living out East back in the 1800's as the land was settling. You and your husband longed to venture West into the unknown. You both have ideas of what kind of life you will create there and the family you will raise. You talk about it and envision it every day. You can't wait to get started so you talk to knowledgable people about it. You gather the necessary things you will need on your journey. You may even have to put savings aside for several years before you can leave. You will need a wagon and team of horses, supplies, food, etc. You may even want to travel along with a wagon train, which requires even more planning. Eventually you start out on your journey following a so-called map (remember things weren't like they are today back then). At the beginning of your journey all the feelings of excitement are inside you. Everything looks brighter, smells fresher, you enjoy every moment on the trail, you even look back at the last sights of civilization and the comfort of what you once knew with a distant so-long. Then you encounter some trying moments. You break a wheel and spend two days fixing it. You get stuck in a river and have a heck of a time getting out. Several bad storms catch you unaware. One of your horses falls ill and dies. You are now down just your team of horses with no spare. Your rations are starting to run thin. You find yourself worried, not sleeping well, and irritated, which leads to arguing with your mate. Perhaps you even have a run-in with bandits. Several other families you are traveling with decide to give up and head back. You have to make a critical decision. Do you continue on to Point B alone or do you throw your map away and tuck tail back to Point A with the others?
This story isn't actual, but I'm sure plenty of settlers found themselves in a similar pickle at one point or another. What if all of our forefathers and foremothers would have thrown their hands in the air and given up? That's something to think about as we go about our own lives. History can teach us a lot and I think that's why I love it so much. People back then had integrity, grit, determination, and dreams that were bigger than the imagination. Think of this too. When they finally got to their destination in the West the work had only just begun. Think of how tired and worn out they must have been. However, when they set eyes on the parcel of land they were to settle a sort of renewed energy must have hit them. They were eager to get started so they planned and they built their house. They built corrals and even a barn eventually. And....they did it with their own bare hands and with each other. Talk about teamwork! The reality was...it was up to them to survive as there was nobody else who would come to their rescue.
I love using stories like this because it really emulates our lives today. I realize we are not living in the past, but if you use stories like this to relate to current situations I feel it makes a lot of sense. What I'm trying to say here is that no matter what your goals are or what map you are following you must first decide what you are going after, where you want to be, and you need to be honest about what you are willing to do to achieve your goals and reach your destination (Point B). Turning back wasn't an option in the story I told above. In order to have success at whatever you are going after you need to have this sort of mentality. Following a map to me is about listening to advice of other successful people who are where I want to be. It's also about knowing that there will be ups and downs on the road to get there. It will be important to continue to follow the map and to keep your eyes on the prize (Point B). Never under any circumstances throw out that map. Rather draw an even better map while you are on your journey. Share your knowledge of the road you have traveled. Be an encourager...the world needs more of that too!
In the end, we only have one life to live. Is there something that you want to achieve that has been left undone or unachieved? What's holding you back? It's truly up to each of us to ensure that when we look back on the route we took (our map) that it was the best we could make it. We want to look back at the map of our life with a smile and pride. My advice to you is to figure out what your Point B is. Be honest with yourself about what it will take to achieve, but under all circumstances don't you dare say you "can't" do it. YOU CAN! Be the pioneer of your life! Grab your map, take the reins, and don't burn any daylight. I wish you well on your journey....perhaps we will meet out on that dusty trail! ~Cheyenne
You can find Cheyenne's blog at www.TheNativeCowgirl.com and find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheNativeCowgirl