This past Mother’s Day, a friend bought me the nicest journal I’ve ever owned – leather bound with gold-edged pages. As beautiful as it was, it’s what’s written on the cover that makes it so special. It reads, “Adventure Awaits: Embrace the Detours, Explore the Open Roads, Enjoy the Journey.” After garnishing my shelf for two months, I finally decided to decorate the pages with my thoughts. Lots of topics flooded my head, as I contemplated what to put on the first page. Re-reading the words on the cover made me think of journey. It quickly became apparent that the words on the cover were speaking to me.
Two years ago, I launched out as an entrepreneur armed with my dream and a plan for success. It was, and still is, an adventure. Much like an explorer cruising in uncharted waters, I enjoyed the surprises of my new endeavor. Looking through the lens of optimism and passion, the path before me appeared straight when I first stepped out. All I could see was the spot that marked where I was today and the “X” that marked where I desired to be tomorrow. Archimedes is quoted saying, “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” That may work as a basic premise in geometry, but it’s not quite applicable to life. I now see my journal quote as the underlying principles of navigating the adventure of life: embrace the detours, explore the open roads and enjoy the journey along the way.
To embrace the detours means you accept that sometimes in order to go straight you may have to first take a right turn. I’ll admit this hasn’t always been my mindset. These last two years have been a crash course in understanding this principle. There’s a part of me that wants the path to success to be like running a race – just one more lap and cross the finish line. After all, it follows logic. But, that’s not the case. Life isn’t always logical. The reality is you make a decision based on your current reality. Six months down the road you will have a new reality. That new reality may force you to re-evaluate and make a change off your current path. These little detours have a way of bringing about unexpected blessings. Embrace it!
Life’s detours lead to new roads and new opportunities. Resist the tendency to play it safe. Challenge yourself to explore the open road. For me, that has meant trying things I probably wasn’t as open to previously. I have learned to intentionally push my boundaries to go outside my comfort zone. For example, I love talking and connecting with people, but the introverted girl inside of me would rather not attend large networking events. However, this is a necessary activity. I explored the open road. Now, if you take a look at my calendar you’ll see networking events and lunches sprinkled through the month.
The pursuit of success will come with some failures too. You have to enjoy the journey. Enjoying the journey means despite the number of setbacks you experience, find the lesson in it and keep moving forward. Last year I spent several months developing and advertising a session. I had the workbooks printed and was all set to go. I believed it would change people’s lives. The content was jammed packed with valuable life lessons. I pushed and pushed for the success of the event. It was all in vain, because I didn’t get a single person to register. I was so discouraged. As a business venture, it was a complete failure. About 5 months ago, I relaunched the same session with different branding, a marketing insight I learned from the first attempt. This time the outcome was different. The session was nearly sold out! The lesson: the path to get where you want to go is not always straight.
This month marks the 2-year anniversary of my company. Although I’m not where I want to be yet, I never dreamed this is where I would be today. Bob Marley is quoted saying, “You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” This journey has taught that the possibilities are limitless as long as I embrace the detours, explore the open roads and enjoy the journey along the way.