I’m on the road a lot for work. Chicago sometimes feels like a construction zone disguised as a city. When I hit upon a roadblock I’m frustrated because I don’t want to take a detour. Detours usually take more time and are maddening because everyone is following the same detour. But then I found WAZE-an app that directs me to the detours before I even hit the roadblock. It is amazing the difference it makes when you are being pro-active about ‘alternative routes’ vs. hitting the roadblock and being forced into a specific detour.
What does this have to do with life? Wouldn’t you love a WAZE app for life? Imagine being able to plug in where you want to be in a year, 3 years, 5 years and WAZE would give you three or four alternative routes? That would be something, however until that day arrives, here are a few things I’ve taken from this little awareness that you may want to consider.
ANTICIPATE ROADBLOCKS: The assumption or expectation that traffic will flow or life will go as we want it to be is our first true roadblock. Once we can put aside the assumption or expectation, then we can get to the place of actually anticipating a potential roadblock.
I have a life desire to be healthy and vital regardless of age. My assumption or expectation is if I do all the ‘right’ things, eat well, exercise, get enough sleep-then I will be healthy. I’ve discovered that doing the ‘right things’ is definitely supporting my health but that doesn’t necessarily mean I am exempt from illness or disease. There are genetics that we all have to deal with.
CREATE ALTERNATIVE ROUTES: Removing the assumptions and expectations, you can now brainstorm and identify what a potential roadblock may look like for your situation. I like to play the ‘if this-then what’ game to come up with alternative routes.
Let’s take my life desire to be healthy and vital regardless of age. If this-there is cancer in my family, then what-I have my annual physical and health screenings. If this-there is a genetic pre-disposition to auto-immune deficiency, then what-I eat foods that combat inflammation.
Creating alternative routes to roadblocks in your life keeps you on the positive side of power. You always have options to consider. You are not trapped, you are creative.
CHOOSE AND LEARN: When we create alternative routes, we have the opportunity to exercise choice. Sometimes we get caught up in ‘did I make the right choice?’ or ‘this isn’t going smoothly, I made the wrong choice,’ etc.
We like to play judge and determine right and wrong. The truth is, choice is choice. It can be right and wrong. However, if you can stay neutral to your choice, the choice allows us to learn and start the whole process over again.
ENJOY THE TOUR: Frame your detour as “De’ Tour” and enjoy the scenery along the way! When you create your own alternative routes, they will be different from your ‘expected route’ from your ‘routine.’ Appreciate the difference, the uniqueness of this route and open yourself to the possibility that the roadblock is enhancing your experience of life!