Merriam-Webster defines a journey as an act or instance of traveling from place to another; the passage from one place to another. This is precisely how I describe my life--it is a passage from one place to another.
Six years ago I took one of the most important steps in changing my life. A journey that would take me to places I never imagined I would find myself. After all, it's hard to see what lies ahead of us when we can only see the past and where we are today. It is difficult to see the place where we have yet to travel because seldom in our life does everything goes as planned.
When I was well into my journey I was talking with a dear friend who had noticed the changes I was undergoing. Now mind you, I had just started running and I was still actively trying to lose those last twenty pounds, but being 60 pounds lighter, there were changes. She asked me how this time was different. For me, a lot had to do with where I was in my life. I was no longer fighting to stay in a 'normal' size, I was literally fighting for my life. High blood pressure, pre-diabetes, gall bladder issues, aching feet and knees when I stood too long were becoming a daily battle. On February 9, 2005 I began my incredible journey and this is my analogy of the journey the way I see it.
Most of us don't just get in the car one day and decide to go on a trip. It takes planning, a destination, a means to get us to our destination, a map to follow and determination.
We plan our destination (our goal), begin the journey with direction (goal setting). We then map out our trip (SparkPeople is our map). We pack the items we needed to take with us (stocking a healthy pantry, joining a gym) and then we begin the journey. The enthusiasm is high. All we can think about is reaching our destination.
We drive along the way and everything is going as planned. We are heading toward our destination, but oh no, we come across some road construction and we are forced to make a detour. Do we continue on or do we turn around and go back home? Most of us will follow the new direction, it may not have been the way we planned when we left, but nothing in life ever is. We are learning to roll with the punches.
We find our way back on the road and oh no, we have a flat tire (plateau). We can sit there, complain and wait for someone to rescue us OR we can get out of the car and figure a way to change the tire ourselves. It won't be easy, but with the right tools (message boards and teams) we can get that tire changed so we can continue on the journey.
We continue on our way and we find ourselves heading through a beautiful passage through the mountains, but instead of appreciating the scenery, we race through to get to our destination as fast as we can not realizing that we needed to stop for gas along the way (not eating enough and spending hours exercising). The sad reality the journey is not so much about the destination, but enjoying the changes we are forced to make as we travel through to get to that destination.
After days on the road, we finally make it to our destination. Not once did we turn the car around and go back home. Not once did we let the obstacles stand in our way to reach our goal. We can even stop and enjoy the beauty and appreciate how far we have come. We can celebrate overcoming the challenges, therefore once we make it to our destination, we know anything is possible.
What lesson have you learned in your own journey of self-discovery? Do you find that we focus too much on the goal and not enough on the changes we make that will ultimately get us to our goal?
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