So I recently celebrated my birthday. The older I get the more birthdays become less about partying and more about reflection. I started to think about this past year. I began to think about my gains and my losses and those things that I have yet to accomplish. I wondered how much of my success rather personal or professional was a result of strategic planning or a willingness to step out on faith. As I continue to reflect I believe I have come to the realization that it is not one or the other but a wonderfully interesting combination of both. Conventional wisdom would say the key to success is strategy and meticulous planning. I do believe planning has its place. I have also lived long enough to know that even the best plan can often not go as expected.
I have in the past been rigid in my expectations. When I made specific goals and objectives and the result was not as expected I would often become frustrated. I would push harder for the desired result instead of recognizing that the outcome that occurred may have been what was needed for that moment. You may wonder what is my point. Why am I writing this blog about me? Honestly, I hope this moment of reflection can help someone avoid the mistakes I made regarding accepting the challenges and changes in life. I want to share three important points I believe to be valuable. They are as follows:
- Detours can be necessary. In a detour we can learn to slow down and see things from a new and interesting perspective. We also learn an alternative way to reach our goal.
- Be open to new experiences. The direct path can often be predictable but also boring. If you have not yet achieved your goal using the path you anticipated, see what you can learn as you are in process. No experience is wasted. It all works out eventually.
- Be patient with yourself. One of the key culprits of anxious feelings and self deprecation is a feeling that you are not doing enough. It’s the thought that says you should be doing something different or better. It is the thought that you are wasting your time. Patience says all things will work together. Patience says I will enjoy and be in the moment instead of only longing for the future.
Ultimately, enjoying the process for me means enjoying life’s journey. Hopefully this moment of reflection can provide encouragement.
Alicia Lurry MA LPC CRC