Last week I drove to Washington D.C. for a meeting. It’s about a three hour drive from my place at NASA and it was a first time making the drive from this point. I looked at the route, put the hotel address into the GPS and from there simply followed the turns as Siri called them out. It was an easy, fluid drive and only at the end when I entered the District did I need to concentrate fully on the intricacies of the journey.
Which got me thinking… what if daily life was more like that easy, natural road trip?
Could you put your intended waypoint into life’s GPS and then relax as the road unfolded before you?
They may be twists and turns you need to take, times when life moves fast and other times when life feels like it’s creeping along toward an intended destination, but could you continue to keep going forward with faith that your inner GPS will get you to your destination?
Too many times in life you set a goal or intention and get frustrated when you don’t get there fast enough.
You know the drive to D.C. is going to take about 3.5 hours with traffic, but there are plenty of things that can happen between your forecasted arrival and your actual departure time. The road between you and D.C. doesn’t stand frozen in time as you travel the path, it too is a leaving, breathing, dynamic environment.
Road conditions could deteriorate, weather could move in and slow things down, more cars could enter the roadway and congest the way forward, accidents could happen that slow or even detour you from the original path. Yet you’d keep moving forward. At no point would you drive 150 of the 179 miles and decide, “This isn’t happening fast enough. I don’t think D.C. is at the end of this path, I’m turning around.”
Why is it so that you do this with your intended outcomes?
On the road to weight loss or more vitality, you decide, “the weight isn’t coming off fast enough, I’m quitting.” Or you go to dinner, cave-in for a good burger and fries and decide one detour from your all salad life plan means you should abandon a more vibrant nutritional life.
There’s nothing wrong with detours. There’s no harm in a slower progress at times toward the destination. There is no shame in exiting the path momentarily.
The key is to get back on the path. To have faith in your intended outcome. To continue to repay that debt month after month. To steadily increase your daily walk time, to hit the gym three days a week instead of two. To keep tacking that professional or educational certification one class at a time.
Bill Gates once brilliantly said, “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”
Stay on the path you’re on.
Keep the faith.
Enjoy the journey and make a fun, daring adventurous road trip out of it.
You’ll be surprised on December 31st this year when you look back and see how far you’ve come because you kept going.