A change in how I look at intersections has, for me, come with time. As I look back on my early days in business, I worked hard to keep every path open. My rationale rested on two points. First, I often was not sure what constituted the “best” course for my future. Second, I wanted to hedge my uncertainty with alternatives. My feedback mechanism was on high alert, with a bias to changing direction with the winds. Because of what I was listening for, I missed hearing the full range of authentic voices around me.
In life today, unless one consciously unplugs, one is inundated with sounds, images, and endless streams of new data. In context of the challenges of trying to focus and be intentional, Life keeps replaying paths and corrections across the course of my life.
Regardless of how many choices one has, inevitably there is a single course decision one is called to make in each moment. The idea that one can remain “adrift at sea, keeping all your options open,” (James 1.8) is a myth because being adrift is, within itself, a course choice. It is unique in its outcome; simply put, one is unlikely to make progress towards any destination. One also loses the ability to measure the current, gauge the wind, or use the elements of life to achieve one’s aspirations.
Committing to a course creates opportunities to learn from what is around you. Life’s equivalents of currents and winds can be found in the voices and actions of individuals which touch your life and mine. There are whispering lessons and inspirations in nature which can teach and guide us towards beauty, care, and kindness.
Life often humbles me as a reminder of my imperfections with an invitation to embrace the gifts of relationship. The former, in the easy ways as well as those painful and difficult ones, opens the door for dialogue, shared burdens, and greater visions. The latter naturally guides one to the heart of living life to the fullest.
May fair winds and following seas be yours.