This post is part of my cornerstone content, written years ago, updated today, inspiring wisdom and deep understanding.
Imagine, for a moment, driving along at night, heading toward a new restaurant for dinner. It’s dark, so you’ve turned on your headlights. Since you’ve never been there before, you probably looked at directions ahead of time and maybe even turned on your GPS. With your special someone sitting in the passenger seat, and music on the stereo, you’re enjoying yourself and looking forward to a lovely evening ahead.
The chances are pretty good as long as you stay present and pay attention to the road, you’ll end up reaching your destination without any problem. Even if an animal jumps in front of you or there’s a detour along the way, you’ll respond accordingly and get where you need to go.
Think about the bigger picture.
Having a dream is like driving at night. Whether you want to build a successful family, business, graduate from college, or become a successful author, singer, dancer, or whatever it is. Your goal gives you something to work towards, especially in the beginning. You’re determined to make it happen. The path ahead may be new, but in your heart, the goal of a life worth living means you’re heading in the right direction.
You’re doing the work and trying to stay on course, but sometimes, after you’ve been at it for a while, the lizard (that voice in your head that wants to keep you small and scared) tries to throw you off. Self-doubt and fear work their way into your thoughts, and you start second-guessing yourself. Looking around at other people who seem content with their lives, you wonder to yourself, “Why can’t I be happy with what I already have? What if all this hard work doesn’t pay off? Am I just being a fool for thinking I can have it all?!”
You’re not alone.
If you’re like me, you recognize yourself in this. At one time or another, everybody hears those voices trying to convince them to stop, take a break, let someone else do the heavy lifting. Giving up is simple, so it’s not surprising when good people let their dreams die.
Occasionally giving in to those anxious thoughts isn’t the end of the world, but over time, it chips away at your confidence. The more often you allow yourself to listen to the lizard, the longer and more painful your journey becomes.
Driving along in the dark, if you’re constantly stopping to check your map, worry about your gauges, or pull over because you’re afraid something might jump out in front of you, the whole trip will be miserable! It’ll take forever, not to mention frustrating your passenger! Seriously! Take it easy!
Like Glenn Frey sings in this song he wrote with Jackson Brown, “Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. Lighten up while you still can. Don’t even try to understand. Just find a place to play your hand and take it easy.”
If you need help, then ask for it*. Check in with your Captain and your crew, but don’t expect them to carry you. Like working out at the gym, the strength and confidence you need to meet your goals only come when you do the work to make it happen. Trust your intuition and creativity to take you where you need to go.
Even when terrible news comes on the radio, you don’t stop driving. You discuss the pain, shake your head in sadness and keep on moving. The tragedies of the world aren’t going to stop, and neither should you! The world needs your gifts, dreams, and aspirations. People need inspiration, and your devotion can be just what they’re looking for.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Take it easy and enjoy the ride!
What do you say, my friendly blog reader?
How are you handling your journey?
What tricks do you have for keeping yourself on course?
I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
*p.s. If you’re looking for someone to help you along the path to your dreams, I’d love to help.