All your problems are just thoughts. And thoughts are not a problem.
- Jeff Foster
But there’s no such thing as failure, just brief pauses. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, our thoughts and beliefs dictate how we give meaning to events in our lives. Looking back to see the “failures” and observing what they led me to (other jobs, new friends, new experiences), I started to see it more like a detour, a signpost urging me to stop take a breath and try something else.
We went on a road trip early last year up the coast driving up to Byron Bay from Sydney. It’s about ten hours give or take a few with sticky-beaky side trips thrown in. I’ve always loved road trips, for their unpredictability. You never know what’s around the corner.
Once we decided to take a detour from the freeway and take a back road running through a small sleepy beach town. It was late afternoon. The signpost said it was only twenty-five clicks from the main road, so off we drove. Pretty soon the road became narrow with a precariously steep drop on one side, hairpin bends where you can’t see up ahead, we had to slow down quite a lot. To top it off we appeared to have descended into a thickly canopied forest, the late afternoon light disappearing into a murky dimness. Then fifteen clicks in, the asphalt disappeared into a dirt road. Dang! We’re driving in a small hatchback. Our car isn’t designed to go off-road. I was very close to making a U-turn and going back. This was a terrible mistake!
Fortunately, the dirt road was only a short distance. At the end of the road was one of the prettiest small beach towns with a lovely protected beach cove, perfect for swimming with small kids. We stopped to soak in the view, turned around the way we came and continued on our trip.
There will be times in your life when things will appear to not go the way you planned. Bumps in the road, potholes, barriers, dead ends, you name it. You may have to turn around and try another way. Or you can keep moving forward and hope for the best. That lemon you think life threw at you, is just a deliberate pause to give you some breathing space. So you can stop, regroup and plot a different route.
Just remember to appreciate the view. It’s freaking amazing!