Last week, eager to explore more of Barbados, I set out on a road trip to the north of the island. Along my journey to St. Lucy, there were interruptions, moments when I got lost (thanks, Waze!), and other times when I found myself just spellbound by the beauty of my country and its people.
As I returned home that evening, I couldn’t help but reflect on the lessons I learned that day. It was as if life was reminding me of what I need to remember on my way to “the top”. You know, things to keep in mind as I chase after my goals and dreams.
There were so. many. aha. moments! Writing them here serves two purposes–first, so I can re-read when I need a reality check; and secondly, as inspiration if you’re looking for some too.
You might feel lost. But you might actually be closer than you think.
About five minutes after I entered St. Lucy, I got lost and started to panic. After I gave up on my GPS navigation and followed my instincts, it turned out that I actually wasn’t too far away from my planned destination. Life demands that sometimes as well: forgetting about the map someone else has drawn for you, looking out at the path ahead, and letting your instincts guide you.
Ask for help.
There will be times when our instincts aren’t sharp enough, and when we will need to ask for help. It’s a hard thing to do when you’re independent, and when you take pride in being able to do things for yourself. Remember, though, asking for help isn’t always a sign of weakness, sometimes it’s wisdom.
Laugh through the craziness.
Right after I had recovered from getting lost, I started taking in the sweet-salty air in the north. It was delightful. “I could get used to this,” I thought. Then suddenly, “Ping!” It was an email from work, and before I knew it, I was making calls, drafting messages, and emailing responses. It was as if my sightseeing plans had rolled over the cliff at Cove Bay and into the sea, never to be seen again.
And that’s life. Right when you start to get comfortable, it can get crazy. Laugh through it. The craziness must end, at some point.
Change pace, if you need to.
When I finally stopped working and got out of the car to explore, I had to change my pace. I had to move faster so I could catch the last rays of sunset before they slipped away under the horizon. In the same way, in life, you might have to speed up to seize an opportunity, or move more slowly to take stock of where you are and carefully plan your next move. Follow the rhythm the moment demands.
Take time to pause and reflect.
After we reach a particular milestone, it’s tempting to move hastily on to the next goal. But sometimes we need to pause, have a look around, and simply take it all in. Setting aside time to appreciate and bask in the progress we’ve made, can give us the courage and energy we need move on to what’s next.
Enjoy the view
It’s a long way to the top. So when you finally do reach your destination, always, always remember to enjoy the view.
Photos: Kyle Babb