Journey vs. Destination: life's journey

Chances are there are a number of destinations you’ve planned along your life’s journey.

  • Perhaps to get that promotion or have kids
  • To get healthy or buy a house
  • To spend more time with your family or write a book
  • To go back to school or save for your kids’ education

Then there are the unexpected stops.

The loss of a job. The end of a marriage. The disappointment of a career that no longer fits. The sudden role of caretaker to aging parents.

Your life’s journey is made up of both—the goals you plan for and the experiences you don’t.

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan remind us the best laid plans are no guarantee. Real life happens even while we’re planning what we want to happen with our lives.

The road ahead is unfolding as we go. It’s always in the process of being paved.

I’m a big believer in crafting a vision for your life and goal setting accordingly. At the same time, it’s important to recognize we can’t plan for every detail or anticipate every detour.

There will undoubtedly be wrong turns. New roads will appear that are more compelling than the one we’re currently on. At times we may realize we’re on the wrong road altogether, no longer wishing to head to our original destination.

It’s a balancing act—this obstacle course between strategically planning a life while staying alive to the serendipity inherent in every single day.

  • If we focus too much on the former, we can be rigid when we come to a turn in the road.
  • But if we’re only open to the latter, we may miss the opportunity to chart our own course.

How have you handled the unexpected “stops” along the road map you planned?