This week, more than any other, I have been thinking about the journey of life. All of us are on it. Most people are moving forward, albeit at different rates. None of us are sure what the final destination holds in store for us. But if we set a goal and are truly honest with ourselves about working towards it, we can determine how much we enjoy the journey of life.
I reached a checkpoint on the journey of life this week – I committed to starting a business in New York City. Three years ago that decision would have engulfed me in fear and self-doubt. But not now. Now, I am ready. Life, as we all know only too well, is incredibly unpredictable, and can at times bring pain. I have witnessed that. But while we cannot change what the journey of life throws at us, we can certainly change our perceptions and our outlook.
in8Motivation (website coming soon), is something that I have been working towards for a very long time. The cover photo of this blog post was taken in the Nevada desert in late June 2016, when I was cycling alone across America on Trans-Atlantic Cycle. I remember looking at the road up ahead of me – US Highway 50 AKA ‘The Loneliest Road in America‘ – and how it stretched out in front of me for so many miles that I couldn’t see what lay ahead. It didn’t matter.
The desert, just like the journey of life, can be unforgiving if we allow it to be. That day on Highway 50, the temperature had risen to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and the sun was relentless. There was no shade; no respite from the burning rays. The nearest services were over thirty miles away. There was nothing out there, and I had no cell phone coverage. But I was smiling inside.
My focus was so strong that I was able to get to the next town in spite of the dangerous conditions. All I had to do was to keep turning the pedals, keep sipping water, keep replenishing sun block, and keep enjoying the moments as they passed by. Using that approach, I kept turning those pedals and six hours later I arrived safely at the next town.
There were moments. They happen to us all. Moments when I wondered what on earth I was doing, what would happen to me. What if I pulled a muscle? What if I broke the chain and got heat stroke while changing it? What if? What if! Negative thoughts, fear and self doubt are sure to come along. But we are are defined by how we deal with fear and negativity. That day in the desert, as soon as I became aware of any negative thoughts or self doubt, I told myself that those thoughts were not real. I could choose what to think. I replaced the negative thoughts of failure with positive thoughts about my plan to establish a business in New York City. I’ve been pedaling towards that goal ever since. Fear of failure is not real, and we can learn how to switch it off.
I learned while out in places like the Nevada desert that motivation can be engineered. A key building block is meditation. With this approach on the journey of life, we can achieve just about anything we want to, and go as far as we want to. You make a goal, you make a plan to work towards it, and you don’t even contemplate giving up. Never ever give up. The only thing that will stop you from achieving your goal is you.
The remoteness of ‘The Loneliest Road in America’ has great symbolism given the nature of my business. I was reliant on myself to get to my destination. It reminds me of a sign I saw outside of a church in Illinois: ‘The quieter we become, the more we can hear.” If we quieten the mind, the journey of life will lead us to great places. When we meditate, we quieten our mind. We can switch off or at the very least learn how to deal with negative thoughts. By meditating, we can delve into an ocean of pure consciousness, from where we can summon the most amazing motivation as we chase our goals.
I am currently working on Motivation Workshops, Guided Meditation for office environments, and am offering motivation coaching services on a one-to-one basis for clients who want to work towards personal goals. Those goals can be personal fitness, career based, weight loss, an adventure challenge like Trans-Atlantic Cycle, or simply to eliminate procrastination. We are all on the journey of life. Whether we freewheel, follow others, or blaze our own trail is entirely up to us. We have the power within us – it is an innate quality that we all have.
I will be talking more about in8Motivation very shortly!