“And though we would both agree it is a wonderful and precious thing to find true love – and a rare one – there are a number of excellent ways for a person to make her way through the world. ‘You must hold out for the right one. And make sure that the life you’re living in the meantime is a full one.'” – Joyce Maynard
Often it is advised to impatient travelers advancing toward any desired destination to slow down, enjoy the journey, take in the sights along the way, for it is the journey, not the destination that is the true prize. Never being what a goal-oriented person wants to hear, such advice is hard to grasp or appreciate as in so many quests, the seeker assumes that upon attaining what they seek – the ideal job, a life partner, a particular salary – life will magically become like a dream world almost as though a lights switch is suddenly turned on.
However, as Joyce Maynard points out in her article for Vogue’s August (2014) issue “Synchronicity”, if we focus solely on the acquisition of our target, we miss the gifts that life sprinkles for us along the journey to the sought after destination. Maynard’s writing talents beautifully describe her own experience with her quest for love after being single for more than 20 years. And while she eventually discovers the man she will marry at the age of 59 (read about their wedding here), it isn’t until she serendipitously runs into an elderly woman during her travels in Italy in which she wakes up to this life truth and embracing the journey.
Too often, life offers us a bountiful gift, but we are too busy grousing about the one we want which hasn’t arrived yet that we don’t realize the gift sitting before us. Interestingly enough, often the gift that is right before our eyes actually holds the keys to unlocking the door we need to get through in order to discover what we seek.
No, we may not land the job in the city we desire to live in on our first or even second attempt. No, we may not be accepted into the MBA program that we think we need in order to be an entrepreneurial success, and maybe the relationship we thought would go the distance only lasted a short while, but what if life is giving us exactly what we do need to create the life we so desperately are trying to create for ourselves?
Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, recently shared in an interview not to let your lack of formal education stand in your way, that in fact an idea that is outside of the box, and not following the linear expectation presented by formally trained competitors is often a recipe for success, as she herself has demonstrated. In other words, perhaps the unique journey you are on is providing you with a one of a kind education that will be priceless and irreplaceable when the opportunity that you’ve been for so long waiting for, finally arrives.
Each of us has a unique journey. Each of us is unique in our own way, and thus, so long as we listen to our inner compass, the life path we have set for ourselves will be uniquely are own. Rather than fight it, why not embrace it.
Don’t begrudge your journey, embrace it, celebrate it, appreciate it. It’s happening for a reason, so make the most of it.
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