Finding Your Path in Life
If you really know me, then you know I love bicycles.
I’m sorry if I talk about that fact too much, but I can’t help it. I’m out to convert humanity. There is no better way to get from one place to another.
I have ridden in many organized bike races, and even a few centuries (100 miles). Two summers ago, I rode a century in southern Utah called the Moab Century Tour. I knew this would be a challenging course because the first 32 miles are uphill. No breaks, just a steady climb to a place called Dead Horse Point. This is all the information I had when I signed up for the ride. Well, that and that I would see some amazing scenery.
I have a friend who likes to drive a cycling course the night before the ride so she knows what to expect. I am the opposite. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to spend any time worrying about a monster hill I know is coming. That will only suck the joy from the miles leading up to it. The hills come for both of us. When I start to climb, I just tuck my chin to my chest and only look at the few feet of pavement ahead of my front tire. I breathe in and out, try to relax, and plug away until I’m at the top. On the Moab Century Tour, the view from the top of that 32 mile climb took my breath away.
It was so beautiful I nearly cried.
I had been there years before, but I didn’t remember the majesty of that view. Maybe it had something to do with the effort it took to get there this time, maybe it was because there wasn’t a car or engine noise between me and nature. Whatever it was, it is something I won’t soon forget.
It feels amazing to reach the top of any climb, but on a 100 mile route, there’s bound to be more than one hill. I don’t know where the road will turn, where my path will be redirected, but I know if I follow the course markers, I will eventually end up at the finish line where there will be cold water, food and sometimes even a massage.
Often, in life, you can’t see more than a few feet in front of you. But, if you know you’re on the right path, you don’t need to see much more.
You only need to know the very next step.
That’s it. Just one more step.
When you come to a hill you need to climb, you just buckle down and do it because there is strength to be gained and glory to behold from the top.
It’s scary not to see the whole picture. It’s scary to not know where the path ends, who is there waiting for us or even when we will arrive. We don’t always get the whole journey mapped out for us.
We all walk down different roads in life. There are detours, twists and turns. No one gets to know exactly where these paths lead. But if you are on the right path, just know that you will always end up where you need to be.
How do you know if you are on the right path?
It’s easy to fall into a safe rhythm in life. This is true in jobs, relationships, and every other aspect of daily living. We are creatures of habit and we like comfort and knowing what to expect.
But if there is some part of you that is asking for something more, or feeling unsatisfied with your contribution to the world, maybe you owe it to yourself to figure out what you’d be better off doing. We only get one go round here, so do something worthwhile.
Here is a list I have compiled of questions to ask yourself:
You feel compelled to do it. You are enjoying the process, even before the results come. You are being true to your values. You feel excited to do it everyday. You are using your unique talents/abilities. You are using your imagination/creativity. There is a possibility of failure. (playing it safe gets nowhere!) You do things you love. You feel energized by what you do rather than depleted. You go to sleep feeling satisfied.
If you’re looking for a little more, maybe even how to find your passion in life download our free PDF booklet. You can get that by going to findmeaning.net and at the bottom of the page submitting for it.
Originally published at findmeaning.net on April 24, 2015.