An acquaintance of mine recently took a lengthy road trip with his three children. He said, “If I hear, are we there yet, one more time….” You could hear the frustration in his voice as he recanted the story. Yet many of us can relate.
Do you remember long trips as a kid and asking or wondering the same question? It was a combination of boredom from our confined space and anxious excitement about the destination. We just wanted to get there-wherever that ‘there’ was.
It has been said that anticipation is nine-tenths of delight. Why is this so? Because our mind is a developer, processor, and generator of creative amazement. Without feeling the sand beneath our toes, we can imagine ourselves walking on a warm, breezy beach. Without being the CEO of a major firm, we can see ourselves sitting behind the big desk in that corner office with the sun pouring through the windows.
Our mind does not require that we purchase “add-ons” to exploit this incredible feature- It’s standard equipment. We have the built in capability to supercharge our lives through the power of delight of thought, anticipating our desires and dreams- the power of imagination.
So how do we use this power so that we don’t constantly ask, “are we there yet?” How do we unleash this power so that we do not feel like we are wandering down a path, or turning down many paths, wondering, where am I going or will I ever get to where I want to be? Most importantly, how do we use this power to achieve and succeed, realizing that our destination is never nor should be final.
Certainly there have been moments when we have made statements like, “I could just stay here forever.” But this really isn’t true. There may be aspects of that place or experience that we may greatly appreciate, but complacency should never be something we strive for. It is natural for us to continually grow, change, and move. The very nature of our cells is a continuum of energy and motion.
I remind people all the time that we really need to appreciate what comes out of the mouth of babes as their honest and curious questioning is really at the core of our success. Yes, even the embarrassing questions in the grocery line like when your three-year old asks, “Why does that man have a baby in his tummy? He’s not a girl?” This truly was a question asked by my granddaughter while my daughter was trapped in line wanting to hide. Okay, so we don’t blurt them out like little Athena, but we have to take ourselves back to the questions we asked as a child. Are we there yet? Shouldn’t we ponder this question regularly instead of being disturbed by it?
Where am I? Am I where I want to be? If not, why? What will take me to my temporary destination? I say temporary because the intent should be to remain in motion but to reach the milestone of each temporary destination.
Just like an old steamer trunk covered in stickers of destinations, so too should our lives be plastered in accomplished destinations as a part of a larger journey. Yes, we may arrive, but we need to have a plan for the next trip, next destination, and our next sticker.
There will inevitably be flat tires along the way. We fix them and move on. We might run out of gas. We find a fuel station, even if we have to push the vehicle uphill to get there (hint: others can help make this task much easier- find people that will help you push when you need it), and we fuel up.
The power to take these actions is within the mind. Think about it. When you get a flat tire, you must think, what do I need to do? I need to go to the trunk and grab the spare and the jack- or you pull out your Auto Club card (I rather like this thought better). Either way you fire up your creativity generator and resolve the problem.
When we ask ourselves if we are there yet or aiming for the place we want to be, we are firing up the generator. The key is to keep the generator fired up with follow-up questions- something like this:
Am I there yet?
Where is there?
There is the top sales representative in my organization.
What is it going to take to make that happen?
What are steps I can take each day to get myself there?
What am I going to do when I run out of gas and I need help pushing?
Who do I have to help push me?
How can I enlist the help of others?
Keep it going. Keep thinking. Always keep thinking forward. This is the key to your journey. Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be?
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, and he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours…. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." Henry David Thoreau- Walden or Life in the Woods.
Fire up the generator. Are we there yet?!
Jolene Church is currently working on doctoral research on critical thinking in organizational leadership. She is an accomplished motivational speaker, success coach, and the co-author of the newly released, Thinking 101: Fundamentals of a Successful Mindset- available now on Amazon in paperback and Kindle or at www.successfulthinkingmindset.com
Jolene holds Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership and is a certified master success coach. Jolene's writing is continually inspired by the challenges that her clients are facing. She finds constant inspiration in the world around her and is profoundly honored to be living her purpose helping others turn impossible into possible.