“It is only when we realize that life is taking us nowhere that it begins to have meaning.” – J.D. Ouspensky
Much as we all search for the tried-and-true “how-to-make-life-work-for-me” manual or technology, formula, tool, technique and the like, the reality is each of us leads a complex and unique life. Another person’s answer, suggestion, recommendation for me as to how to live my life is often – 99.999% of the time – one that is quick, easy and usually off or misguided.
One Size Does Not Fit All
There is no “one size fits all” road to change, growth and development – the road that is well-paved, travel-worthy, lighted, secure, and sure-footed – a road that works for everyone. The truth is, the right road for you is not a well-traveled road. It’s a path. And the reason it’s called a path is because it’s never been traveled before.
Personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically, you need to develop your own pathways. Personal pathway development is a challenging endeavor – moving through rocky terrain and uncharted wilderness, i.e., the unknown.
Those who listen to, and even follow the advice of, the “If I were you” this is what I would do…so, you should, too” folks are more likely than not to move through life like a bumper car – hitting dead-ends, bumps in the road, detours and the like as a result of looking for “direction” in all the wrong places” i.e., outside themselves. No one can “show me the way” – no one.
The Path Is An Inside Jo
The road ahead can come from only one place – inside. No one else can identify your path for you. Finding and successfully following your true path comes from your inner guidance and wisdom.
The path begins with a vision – a vision of what life looks like – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. This vision informs you of your place in life and on the planet. Your vision, when sought and discovered inside, and tested, provides a sense of worth and value that defines your place on the planet.
You Need Your Solutions
The reason other folks’ “solutions” (i.e., beliefs, “technologies” or visions, etc.) hardly ever work is they’re not designed for “me.” They may feel and sound good for a moment, and may provide a short burst of enthusiasm and energy, but in the long run they are seldom lasting, transformative or sustainable. Why? No one can empower you – but you.
And the only way you can become empowered is to generate, from the inside, your own life vision and purpose. It’s impossible to align with, and become congruent with, someone else’s vision and purpose. If you’re true to someone else’s purpose or vision, it’s almost a certainty that, sooner or later, you’ll experience a sense of deflation, frustration or resentment. How can you not? You’re living someone else’s life! And that’s dis-empowering. Not life-affirming.
Appreciate The Rockiness of The Path
“I never know what the next lesson is going to be, because we’re not supposed to know; we’re supposed to trust ourselves to discover it.” – Melody Beattie
Every path, including yours, consists of its respective forms of difficulty, challenge, resistance, and problems – health, career, relationship, etc. – all created solely and especially – for you – for your character and personality. (This is the major reason why the “If I were you, I would…” folks can never – ever – begin to solve your issues and challenges. They are not you. Journeying along your own path allows you to discover the purpose of the obstacles and challenges you face.)
Through honest and conscious self-reflection, you unbundle what’s in your way and in the process move from ignorance to intuition, from selfishness to selflessness and from inertia to energetic intentionality. The conscious journey along your customized path can lead you to becoming the heart-and-soul based human being you are – perhaps gently filling the refuse containers along the way with bits and pieces of your ego-self which you begin to discard.
The rockiness of your path serves to tug on your sleeve – asking you to “work” your character and personality, to become a better human being, to love and support others – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. The rockiness is intended to help you better understand, and live, the purpose for which you’re on the planet – which always, yes always, involves connecting with others for your highest mutual good.
Obstacles Offer Lessons To Be Learned
“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” – Fr. Alfred D’Souza
Every obstacle has a built-in lesson which is intended to raise your level of consciousness. Every obstacle asks you to stretch a bit, or a lot – sometimes beyond what you think are your limits. Every obstacle serves to bring your unconscious to the surface and in the process you have the opportunity to heal – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and/or psychologically – where you discover heart-and-soul-felt capacities and qualities you never knew you had. If there’s one result that walking your own path affords you, it’s empowerment – realizing your value and worth, accessing your true and real inner strength and courage and discovering a belief and trust in yourself that walking someone else’s path never offers – ever.
And, that’s why it’s called a “path.”
“To know how to choose a path with heart is to learn how to follow intuitive feeling. Logic can tell you superficially where a path might lead to, but it cannot judge whether your heart will be in it.” – Jean Shinoda Bolen
Some questions for self-reflection:
- What particular challenge are you facing? Have you deeply reflected on what you need to do, or how you need to be, to help you become a better “you” who’s capable of greater love, understanding and empowerment?
- Do you know what “the hero’s journey” is? Have you ever experienced such a journey? Are you in the midst of one now? Do you consistently search “outside” yourself for the right path? How’s that been working? Honestly.
- Do you surround yourself with “If I were you, I would…”- types of folks? If so, why? Are you an “If I were you, I would…”- type person to your family, friends, partner, spouse or colleagues?
- Does the idea of walking your own path cause you concern or fear? What about a sense of excitement or adventure? And, “why?”
- What was “fending for myself” or “going my own way” like for you as you were growing up?
- Do you generally feel safe and secure – mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually or psychologically? Why or why not?
- Are you a trusting soul? A vigilant or suspicious soul? How so?
- How do you feel about “not knowing?” Are you comfortable journeying into the “”inner unknown?” How so?
(c) 2019, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful. Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.
What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”
I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.
I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.