When was the last time you took time to look at your journey?
No. Seriously? When?
So often we spend so much of our time looking at others (what they have, what they look like and what they post on social media for us to believe is making them happy) yet we spend little to zero time analyzing where we’re at?
I’ve asked this question today because I sit here, and I look – I look back at everything I’ve been through. And I look at all that I’ve overcome. I look at all of my wrong turns, all of my mistakes, all of the things that I regret, and every broken relationship that brought me pain and heartbreak which eventually turned into strength, experience and growth. Most importantly, I look at my walk with God.
And taking time do this has been the most refreshing thing I have done for myself in years.
What have you done for yourself lately?
I, like many others I’m sure, am also guilty of focusing so much on my future, or crying over things in my past that I have no time left to appreciate and soak up my present.
Does this sound crazy? Or you’re guilty of this too?
I’ve also always rolled my eyes at the cliché, ‘your present is a gift’ because well for one I detest clichés, and secondly, I always miss that gift.
However, what I’ve realized is that taking time to look at my journey (especially when I feel lost or aimless) is the key I need in order to forge ahead and so today, I can now comfortably look at what lies ahead.
I once was of the belief – according to many therapists, wellness coaches, doctors, writers, etc. – that ‘Most people are so lost’ and I began labeling myself as one of ‘those people’. However, what I’ve come to understand is that we are not so much fanatically aimless or lost as we are quietly desperate.
We’re not filled with confusion. Instead, we’re filled with emptiness.
Dreams that never came to fruition plague us and wear us down.
Often times it tries to tear us apart. We know what our heart truly desires, but we’re consumed with so much of fear, disappointment or fulfilling someone else’s dreams that we have no time left for ourselves.
We have no time to look at our journey, and as such no time to truly focus on what lies ahead.
Realizing this made me take a step back and analyze what I’ve been spending all my time doing or more so, not doing.
And so today I write to suggest that maybe it’s time you do the same.
Imagine you had a free hour – just one, to be intimate with no one else but your thoughts, distraction-free, looking over your journey.
What does your journey say to you?
Does your journey show that you’ve been rejected from a job? Hit rock bottom? Felt like you’re stretching yourself thin for everyone else, leaving no time to facilitate your own dreams?
Does your path look a lot more crooked than the straight road you imagined life would be? Did you fall short a few times? Felt like you were succeeding but then got pushed 10 steps backward? Or have you been stuck on the same dream for the past couple years, allowing fear to paralyze your next move?
How about support? Do you lack the support you think you need from the ones closest to you in order to fulfill your biggest dream?
If your answer to any two of these questions is YES then I say to you that like me, everything you’ve been through along your journey is preparing you for a purpose far greater than you can ever ask or think.
Bu, you’re going to need to love yourself enough to stop standing in your own way of accomplishing what you were born to be.
You’re going to need to intentionally spend more time curating a plan that works for you in order to accomplish one goal at a time.
You’re going to need to start living in the present by doing simple things greater.
You see I’ve been guilty of trying to achieve a million goals at once, getting myself worked up over wanting to do too many things – calling it ambition – then after the excitement comes defeat as all would come crumbling down on me .
I do not wish the same for you.
Instead what I began infiltrating in my regime is, whatever it was I was doing, I had to make sure that it was brining me one step closer to my goal.
And so in order to live intentionally you’re going to have to ask yourself daily, “is what I’m spending my time on today helping me get closer to achieving my dream or pushing me further away?” Ask yourself the same questions about the people you spend your time with as well. – Trust me you’re either going to realize that you spend far too much time on things that aren’t helping you grow or you’re going to lose some friends. Either way, you’ll be making space for the things that truly matters – your goals.
If it’s one thing I’d like for you to take away from today’s post is this:
Success is based on doing stuff daily.
As such, how about we begin – after you’ve finished reading and sharing this post (see what I did there?) – to write down what you think your first series of little steps should be. Remember, whatever it is, make sure it helps you focus on what lies ahead.
Imagine it’s a grid of your life…. something as simple as the steps on your google calendar (seriously if you haven’t already, go check out Google calendar.)
This grid allows you to fill your daily timeline with activities…
Ask yourself, or better yet write down how much time you spend on…
-Making your future better.
-Spending time with others.
-Spending time alone.
-Stressing over things.
-Focusing on the body.
-Focusing on the mind.
-Focusing on neither mind/body.
-Favorite part of your day.
-Least favorite part of your day.
Throughout all of these, where do you spend most of your time? And how can you shift that to something else? Something that will help your future self?
It may seem like a silly exercise to some. Or extremely difficult to others, but it has definitely helped me and I hope it will help you too.
You see I sit here, and I look – I look at it all. All of the times I’ve been told NO. All of the times that my plans were wrecked, all of the times I got excited just thinking about going after too many goals at once only to be shut down before even one could be fulfilled.
But through it all I’ve learnt that this journey is not one to be rushed. And more so, it is impossible for God to place a dream within you that He knows you can’t fulfill.
So rest assured, those broken roads you’ve had to take, all of the time wasted and even the trails you’re facing at this very moment have all been preparing you for what lies ahead. But, you must first take the time to look at your journey.
On the other hand, I’ve come to the conclusion that not everything is as difficult as we perceive them to be.
If we’re honest with ourselves – and the grid above – we’ll realize we spend most of the time worrying, stressing and beating ourselves up without even giving our dreams a real try.
So why not begin today.
Looking at the journey is only half the key. In order to truly forge ahead you must now be willing to step out with courage.
Maya Angelou once said, “Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently”.
Today I pray that you find the courage to go after your dreams.
I know you’re thinking, “This isn’t going to be easy”. And you’re right. Of course it’s not. Take a second to think about it. Life isn’t easy for any of us. That’s just the way it is.
Things that matter most are harder to achieve. But that should not hinder you from wanting to achieve any goal.
There is no victory without a battle, neither is there any testimony without a test, so count it all part of the plan. Ultimately, it is the trial by fire that brings you into a state of greater being. By this I mean, all that you’ve been through was necessary – even the things that seem the most unfair. And to the things that are unimaginably painful and has left permanent scars, to that I say, it should only make you stronger and your story worth more to tell.
But rest assured, that after the rain comes the refreshing sunshine. Therefore, we must persevere and believe that we are all gifted. Yes you too have a greater purpose and though your journey has not been easy, it will definitely be worth it.
God will never place a goal outside of our reach unless He desires us to acquire it. Faith tells me that no matter what lies ahead, God is already there. Therefore, my reason for writing about focusing on what lies ahead is because we should all desire to get to that place as well.
I sit here, and I look – I look at it all. And I can just feel it. I can just feel it all coming together. I can just feel what God is about to do. And it’s so close. And I’m so ready…
Are you ready for what lies ahead?
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