The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination. - Don Williams Jr.
I’ve been feeling very nostalgic lately and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it is because I celebrated a birthday recently where I spent time reflecting on my past. Or maybe it’s because of all of my high school friends that have been sending friend requests on Facebook. Whatever the reason, memories from my childhood have been on my mind.
Those memories led me to visit my old neighborhood. As I was driving down the familiar street on the way to our old apartment complex, I glanced at an office park. I was unable to look at the parking lot of this park without memories of year 15 of my life rushing back to me. It looked like any normal office park around town but to me, it had a special meaning.
This particular office park was where I first learned how to drive. One day when the businesses closed, my sister drove the short distance to the office park and sat in the passenger seat while I navigated my way around the turns and speed bumps. I got the hang of driving fairly quickly and I was driving on the state roads and highways just a few weeks later.
Revisiting my past made me think about the different paths my life has taken. I began to about think how far I have come. I began feeling very blessed that I have been able to experience and do the things I have done with my life so far. Even though it’s not always perfect, I truly feel that I’m living an extraordinary life.
Living an awesome life can be accomplished by anyone. But you must know what roads to take and what roads to avoid. Here are some of the major roads you will encounter in your life’s journey that will lead to awesome living.
Every major city has a major road that acts as the center attraction of that city. The road helps to define the city and the people in it. In Paris, its Avenue des Champs-Elysees where the mile long road displays a variety of boutiques, cafes and restaurants. In New York, it may be Broadway or 7th Ave which are at the heart of the never ending excitement and entertainment the city is known for.
Your life’s Main Street is your center. It is what represents who you are. Instead of cafes and dinner shows, your life’s Main Street may be represented by your faith, family, talents and purpose. To live an exceptional life, you must start with your core. Find your Main Streets and you’ll find your motivation and drive.
The Winding Road
There is nothing like driving on a winding road. Whether the road is located in a midst of a lush forest or hugging the curves of a hilly countryside, driving on a winding road is an exciting experience. The best part about driving on these roads is the opportunity to enjoy the ride while surrounded by beauty.
Awesome living means enjoying the ride. On route to your destination, life offers the opportunity to see and experience great things. Life brings new experiences everyday. We may be tempted to hit the gas and speed through them but if we do, we may miss out on something great.
Nightmares on Elm Street
On your journey to an awesome life, you will inevitably cross Elm Street-where the nightmares are. The nightmares may be financial, physical, or even emotional. Although it may seem that being on Elm Street is the opposite of living an extraordinary life, the nightmares on Elm are an important part of awesome living. You may not be able to appreciate the other wonderful roads you will encounter unless you have journeyed through the difficult ones.
Going through tough times in your life makes it possible to be grateful for the good times. You will not appreciate a great relationship unless you’ve experienced a bad one. You will not be able to truly appreciate your material possessions unless you have struggled financially at some point in your life. Remember that Elm Street does not go on forever and eventually the nightmares will end.
Avoid Easy Street
You may be tempted to take Easy Street which looks like a quicker way to get to your destination. But be careful, most shortcuts lead to a dead end. Easy Street is the path of least resistance but also offers the least rewards. There will be no pot-holes in the road, no curves to take, and no hills to drive up – just a smooth ride with no risk, no challenge, no growth.
In life, you will have many opportunities to take the easy way out or the “quick-fix”. It may come as an easy way to get rich, lose weight, or become famous. But when you take the easy road, you have not taken a road that will produce lasting results. To live an amazing life you must be willing to do things that expand your comfort zone and challenge you.
Getting on the Highway’s Fast Lane
If you really want to avoid congested road traffic, you can always get on the highway and merge onto the fast lane. Since you will be driving at high speeds, you will have to be extra focused, disciplined and alert.
In life there are some things we can do that will have an immediate impact on the way we live our lives. These things can be done today and can change the direction of your life.
Changing Your Thoughts – Altering your thinking is the first step to changing your life. By changing your perspectives you will become more aware of opportunities when they present themselves.
Changing Your Habits – Once you’ve altered your thinking, it’s time to align your actions with your thoughts. Changing the things you do daily will eventually change the way you live daily.
Take on a New Challenge – Taking on challenges where you can gain an experience that may add value to your life will dramatically improve the quality of your life.
If you feel like your life is lacking in experience, excitement and passion, it may be that you are driving in the wrong direction. It’s never too late to make a U-turn and find the roads that lead to awesome living.