Finding the path
April 11, 2018
Sometimes, if you ask (and pay attention), life serves up lessons in the least expected places. It happened to me today, not long after I released the thought that I could use something to write about on the blog this week.
Ask and ye shall receive.
I’ve been trying to take a short walk every morning lately. It’s good for you physically and mentally to do something active in the morning, so I’ve been trying to pound the pavement for 10 minutes or so every day before I get down to work. It isn’t always easy these days, and I have to confess that this endless winter has really been crushing my spirit over the past week.
Anyway, I affixed my earmuffs as usual this morning and trudged into the cold, trying to focus on the birds singing instead of my regular obsessive thoughts about the future. I wanted to walk a little further today, flurries be damned, so I turned right where I would normally turn left. It didn’t take long for the cold to beat me down, though, so I shifted course again and started back toward home.
There’s a park not far from my house that I’ve never really walked through before. It’s relatively on the way home, so I thought I would cut through and try to find my way. The problem was that I didn’t know if there was a path I could walk on through what I assumed was a very wet field. I followed the sidewalk up a little slope to some playground equipment to have a look, and as I got closer, I could see several paths in the grass.
And there’s the lesson.
Sometimes you have to get a little closer to something before the way forward begins to appear. A lot of times people don’t go after things because they either don’t know what to do or they don’t see how it’s possible. They don’t see the path, but sometimes the path is only revealed step by step. Sometimes you have to put one foot in front of the other to find a new vantage point. If you stand still, you may never see the road hidden just ahead in the grass.
So how does that apply to your life? Well, if you have a dream, you have to take the first step. If you want to be a full-time musician, start jamming with people. Audition for a band. Start demoing your songs. Start learning about the industry. Start moving forward and see what begins to open up for you. If you want to get in shape, join a gym or a walking group or CrossFit studio. Take that action and then watch as the next steps are revealed. Same thing if you want to start a business or learn a martial art or become a painter.
If you can’t find the path, start walking.
It sounds counterintuitive, but it resonates with me. I’ve experienced it as a writer and as a musician, but I forget sometimes, so I’m grateful to have remembered it this morning. Hopefully it’s a useful reminder for you too.
Whatever the dream is, get a little closer today. You might be surprised by what you can see.