I was sitting in traffic this week, on my way into the office, and couldn’t help but focus on the moment. For many, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic would be irritating and set a negative tone for the day, but in that moment as I saw cars jam-packed in both directions, I couldn’t help but feel grateful. Among many things, that I instantly became grateful for was where I was going- to work. I am blessed to work for an amazing organization- and even if I didn’t work for an amazing organization and just held ‘a job,’ at least I would have more than someone unemployed. I also was sitting in my car. I don’t drive a fancy car, but it’s a nice car- and more importantly, I have a car!
Although I teach on opportunity thinking as a way to shift away from the natural lack-based mindset, I’m no different from anyone else, and I too, must re-focus continually. Instead of feeding into negative thought patterns, “you are going to be late because of this traffic,” I chose to become appreciative for what I have instead of circumstances beyond my control. My day could have started-off terrible, but I chose for it to be different.
Every day is the picture that you paint. There is joy in being, but we must remind ourselves to tap into our inner joy so that we can experience it and unleash successful outcomes awaiting their emergence.
Awareness allows us to get outside of our mind and observe it in action. Awareness is an amazing success tool that if we choose to use, can help us unlock our successful mindset.
How are awareness and success so inter-connected? Awareness is a state of being that puts us into a present state of what is. From where you are, you cannot only determine where you would like to be, but also how to get there.
If you get in your car without any idea of where you are going, why go? With no destination in mind, it seems silly to get in your car. What we do in our careers and in our personal lives is oftentimes the same. In coaching sessions, I often ask, “Are you sitting in the passenger seat of your car?” That question always gets a strange look, but every person gets it. Even stranger a reaction is when I ask, “Are you sitting in the driver’s seat of your car?” The answer is usually, “Why, yes!” This is usually followed by some explanation to validate the response. This is always met with a challenge thought. “Tell me why, day after day you get in your car without knowing where you are going.” For seemingly successful executives the shock that follows is usually no different than a high-schoolers response.
After deeper discussions and reflective thought, each person gets the bigger picture. Success transcends material wealth, a great career, or millionaire status- it is a state of mind and being that attends to a greater calling and connectedness to the world around us.
Our lives serve a greater purpose than filling space on this planet. When you get in the car, you must figure out where you are going. What fuels you? Our inner joy is an endless fuel supply.
“Find out where joy resides, and give it a voice far beyond singing. For to miss the joy is to miss all,” Robert Louis Stevenson.
We must be aware to fuel our inner success. We must become aware to tap into our joy. Success is hard-wired into us and it is weaved into the fabric of joy. Joy shines like the sun through pitch-blackness, illuminating our surroundings and experiences. When we become aware and take action as a result of the joy from within, we can experience success. We make a deliberate choice to set our direction and get in the car and drive.
It’s okay if we get stuck in traffic; at least you have traffic to be stuck in. It gives you time to reflect and get back into the moment. Traffic gives us time to shift, re-assess, and become aware.
As you go about your week and go through traffic, use this as your visual cue to shift. It is your moment to pause and appreciate where it is you are. Only from knowing and appreciating where you are, will you get to where you were intended and desire to be. Enjoy your traffic!
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.