I was driving the main stretch of highway the other day on my way to eat dinner with my family, when I got detoured off the main and only road I knew due to a very bad traffic accident. I was forced to turn onto a winding back road and left to maneuver my way out. I had absolutely no idea how to get to the restaurant from that road and I had no service on my cellphone to search for directions. At this point my agitation and frustration had skyrocketed and all I wanted to do was give up and go home. I felt defeated.
As I used my sense of direction to try to find my way out of this unknown area, I began to look around at the view. It was undoubtedly a beautiful journey. Cherry blossom trees lined the curb as I approached the peak of this hilly road. At the stop sign, I looked to my left and I could see for miles. I saw what remained of the wreckage down below, the vintage farmland that ran parallel to me, and- Aha! There in the not so far distance was my destination.
Feeling a little victorious, I continued on my way.
This got me thinking. This journey is a lot like life itself. We have a tendency to plan for the future; it’s only human that we do so. We have goals, and to meet these goals we plan out how to get there. We usually choose the easiest route and 99 percent of the time our goals are met using this path. But what about when that main road closes? Have we prepared ourselves for detours that we might be faced with?
It is easy to feel defeated when we have setbacks and detours. Depression, fear and anxiety get triggered and without preparation we are likely to give up. The thing we must remember: there are many different paths that can take us to our ultimate destination, and often times the unintended path is the most rewarding. We learn something new, see something new and feel something new. Successfully maneuvering through life’s diversions instills self-confidence and empowerment within. After my initial reaction of anxiety and stress, I ultimately felt more accomplished and proud of myself for figuring out a new, beautiful road, and better prepared for when the next obstacle arrives.
This minor inconvenience almost caused me to give up. I almost had forgone an enjoyable dinner with my entire family because I was not mentally prepared for a roadblock.