There Is No There
Summer seems to bring more travel for most people. As families set off on their much anticipated vacations, they inevitably punch the desired location into their GPS. No more folded up maps from the glovebox or printed sheets from MapQuest.
The GPS takes care of all of it. Estimated arrival time, remaining miles, and the time left in our trip are all displayed and adjusted in real time. Heck, they’ll even alert you to potential speed traps, obstacles on roads, and traffic jams.
Of course, before any of these services are engaged we have to input our destination. Without knowing where we are going, none of the amenities our GPS offers are of any good.
Although we would like for our pursuits in life to be as clean, and simple, as our GPS directions, they’re not. Could you imagine potential obstacle alerts, slowed traffic, or alternate route suggestions?!
But the truth is, we don’t want it to be.
Why Should We Care?
Though we spend most of our time trying to keep life clean and orderly, we eventually realize it’s all the off-road, unbeaten paths, and wrong turns that make life worth living.
Where we think we’re going is hardly ever where we end up. Or, if we do happen to end up at the destination we set out to reach, we recognize the process of getting there far exceeds the experience of being THERE.
Society and personal growth gurus would like to have us believe that we all should be reaching up for the next rung on the ladder, climbing our way to a better future - always trying to get THERE. Good enough never is and some always leaves us wanting more.
Of course, we bite. We work the extra hours at the expense of the people we love. We take the promotion, leaving a job we were perfectly suited for and enjoyed. We move away from friends and family in an effort to position ourselves for the next great opportunity to advance. All in the pursuit of THERE.
The thing is, there is no there.
Sure, we want to set goals and have ambitions in order to stretch ourselves. We want to work to maximize our potential and become the best we can possibly become at whatever we do. But we never find those things THERE. We always find them on the way.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Our fulfillment isn’t positional. It’s operational. What and why we do things is what will determine our impact and fulfillment much more so than where we do it. Here’s a few ideas on how to “Make the Big Time Where You Are”, as Frosty Westering’s great book suggests.
There is no there. We are never getting there. And, truth be told, we don’t really want to get there. Life is only lived here, where our feet are. Stay here.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.