October 8, 2012

How to love the journey!

“Every road on our journey isn’t direct, fast, easy, or clear.  Our progress is not defined by the path we take; but, it is defined by our commitment to be on the right path.”

Standing on a bridge over Interstate 40 in TX — the road to the north and the road to the south may look long and lonely; but, they offer much more than any trip in the fast lane.

I share the analogy with many here in Phoenix, that the fastest road to LA is Interstate 10.  Generally speaking, hopping on Interstate 10 here in Phoenix will put you somewhere near the beaches of LA in a little over five hours.  You may find some construction delays or traffic volume issues that could slow your pace a bit; but, it is a safe bet that you can simply buzz over to LA in under six hours for sure.

If only life were that clear and that simple.  Reality check — it is not.   Life is not lived on a super highway.  We cannot simply lay out a goal and march out onto the highway, hit the gas, and get there.  Very rarely are goals lived out with such simplicity and ease.

Life is lived more in the experiences of a journey or a longer more challenging trip.  Having driven various stretches of the famous Route 66, one gets a romantic sense of nostalgia about the experiences of traveling across the US before the era of the super highway.  Back then, people didn’t get in their car to race to another city.  They got in their vehicles for a longer, more deliberate experience on the way to their destination.

Route 66 is the reality of a great vision, lived in commitment to our passion.  Interstate 10 is an example of a flawed want it now, want it fast, and want it easy society.  One cannot enjoy, savor, or celebrate an accomplishment if there is no experience, no story, and no real insight developed along the way.

Too often we are so preoccupied with the destination, we forget the journey.”

This pretty much summarizes how I feel about the notion of defining outcomes and focusing on behaviors that merely get us there.  There is so much to learn, offer, experience and discover along the path of our journey that the destination is not really the reward — the trip is.

Today, I am more inspired by the notion of commitment, focus and passion relative to a vision than I am to any defined result or goal.  Creating a goal is like defining a destination and building a super highway to help get there.  There is little deviation from course, there is little room to learn, grow, or discover.  And, there are two likely outcomes — success or failure.

Defining your vision for your life and living in passionate, focused commitment toward living and celebrating that life is like simply getting in the car and driving in the generally intelligent direction.  Every day is a challenge to keep moving.  Each new day presents a new experience, a new challenge, and a new lesson.  Every single time we keep moving, is another day to celebrate the progress of our commitment.  Living in passionate, focused commitment to our vision is like driving on Route 66 — you will get your kicks and it will take some time.  Since you are always learning, always celebrating, and always moving — there are countless outcomes, discoveries, and opportunities that will develop and define you along the way.

The road to peace, joy, and happiness may not be the fastest, easiest, or most obvious one.  However, it is the road that offers the most in education, experience, and excitement.  I prefer taking the unknown, indirect path — it delivers me where I need to be with the power of experience to support and guide me in the future.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.