I remember going to stay with my grandparents for a weekend when I was about 11 years old. I remember that trip well because I rode my bicycle approximately 10k across Auckland to get to their home and I’d never ridden that far from home on my own before. I clearly remember packing a small bag with my pyjamas, toothbrush, a book to read and a change of clothes before putting the bag on my bike rack. I waved goodbye to my mother as I rode out our driveway and headed up the hill we lived on.
One of the reasons this trip is so memorable is that I didn’t actually know how to get to my grandparents’ house. I knew the first few roads I should take, but I’m not a details person and from about half-way on, it was all a little hazy. My initial euphoria at going on an adventure by myself was replaced by a degree of anxiousness the further I got from home.
Yes, I’d traveled that way many times, but I’d always been in the back seat of my parent’s car, either reading or arguing with my siblings. I’d told my mother I knew how to get there because I thought I did, but if she’d asked me which streets I needed to go on, I couldn’t have told her.
I reached my grandparents’ house without incident. Even though I didn’t really know the route, at each intersection I recognized the road I needed to take and so decision by decision, road by road, I got to my destination safely.
I’ve always had a hopeless sense of direction (something I didn’t know about as a child!) and today when I drive, I always keep my SatNav turned on to ensure I don’t get lost. I’m currently living in London and when I go somewhere new in this wonderful city, I switch on Google Maps without even thinking about it to help me get to my destination.
Unfortunately in life, you can’t switch on Google Maps. We often have to make life decisions without knowing the end result. You have to choose a path and trust it will work out.
I know a number of people who have chosen to remain in unhappy or frustrating situations because they’re unwilling to make changes in case it doesn’t work out. They want guarantees. Life doesn’t come with guarantees or with destinations all mapped out.
I’ve learned over the years, that when I can’t see the end, I just need to take the next step and trust my intuition and the process.
There is no road map for life. If you want to create a satisfying life, there will be times when you have to make choices and trust your instincts to guide you. Listen to your emotions and your instincts, they will help you understand the road to take and show you the next step. At each decision point, you’ll be able to recognize which road is right for you even if you’re unsure exactly where you’re heading.
Trust yourself, get on your bike and go on the adventure of your life.
Image by Matthew Powell