One day about 3 months ago I was driving to work and about to get on the motorway when I realised that there was a tailback for miles and traffic was not moving. Now, normally I would simply sigh and get in line because as far as I knew there wasn’t an alternative route to my job. For some reason that morning I decided to get my phone out, find Google maps and ask it to navigate to my place of work, to my surprise it identified a route that completely avoided the traffic and I arrived at work in probably half the time I would have, had I sat in the traffic. Bear in mind that I have been commuting an average of 3 hours a day to and from work for almost 4 years, traffic jams are a regular occurrence and yet this is the first time it occurred to me to look for an alternative route hmm.
I was struck by this self-assessment, because I have always considered myself to be quite open to change. In fact in both my personal and work life I often lead change, but this experience showed me that I’m actually not as receptive to change as I thought I was. It took me being in a situation we’re I was ‘stuck’ to look for an alternative route. There was no reason why I couldn’t have looked for alternative routes prior to this and saved myself an abundance of time over the years, except my self-imposed boundaries that seem to have appeared out of nowhere. It reminded me that we are indeed creatures of habit, when we’ve been doing things for a while we often forget why we started doing them in the first place and stop asking ourselves why, even when it stops making sense.
It turns out I was given a life lesson that morning and I realised a few things:
1. There is always an alternative route, even if it’s really hidden
We’re often fooled into thinking there is no other way, so instead we settle and tolerate things that can be changed. In actual fact there is always another way, the question is whether or not we’re motivated enough to find it.
2. You have more options in life than you probably think
Truth be told we often impose boundaries and limitations on ourselves that need not exist, remedying this is normally just a matter of changing our thinking and expanding our vision. Proverbs 23:7 says; “As a man thinks in his heart so is he…”
3. Taking risks doesn’t always pay off but sometimes it does and when it does, it’s worth it
It’s such a travesty that so many of us live life fearfully, scared to take a chance and venture into new territory. I don’t advocate taking foolish and unnecessary risks, but I do believe a certain amount of risk taking does enrich our lives.
4. Change really is as good as a rest
Change can be rejuvenating, if you’ve ever moved house or changed jobs there is a feeling of new beginnings and a fresh start (despite the hard work and stress that comes with it).
5. Exploring can be fun and fun is important
As children we explore instinctively, it’s an innate part of playing and having fun, but as adults we forget this simple joy. Let’s regress a little!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this year I’m living more freely than I ever had, I’m not sure where this year will take me but I know it’s going to be good
So I encourage you to live freely, every now again take a new route, you may be positively surprised by where it takes you.