I tend to be a straight to the point kind of person. I prefer taking the shortest route, the interstate as opposed to the windy back roads.
But when I chose JOURNEY as one of my three focus words this year (click here to read more), I signed on for the back roads, stuck-behind-the-slow-truck, stop-at-every-point-of-interest itinerary. And what a learning experience it is turning into!
Basically my intention in choosing JOURNEY was to stop focusing only on my destination or goal, and to savor the process of getting there. What I am discovering are rich relationships, hidden strengths, and insights as to my own fears and hopes.
By slowing down to connect more with friends, both online and in person, I am realizing the high value of these bonds and the depth of caring in the people around me. It works both ways as well, since I am more contented through loving and caring more deeply instead of just superficially.
Introspection is part of the journey as well, which has been an uncomfortable but necessary experience. Spending time with me, thinking through what I enjoy and want, dreaming of what I truly want to be and do – are activities that have been difficult. For someone who is typically focused on planning for and reaching goals (usually set by someone else) and doing the hard work to get there, the touchy feely process of internal examination and analyzing my own desires and passions is excruciating. And enlightening.
Participating in the initial two rounds of the Start Experiment with Jon Acuff has helped to clarify my dreams and take a few steps in the right direction toward achieving them. There is a long road ahead, but it’s encouraging to at least know that I’m headed in the right direction.
My other two words, APPRECIATE and DELIGHT, have become rather secondary to JOURNEY, and yet also an integral part of the experience. Perhaps by making more of an effort to show and accept appreciation as well as seeking out situations that provide delight – my journey will be even richer.
How have your three words impacted your year so far? If you have not chosen three focus words, what words might you choose for next year?