If you wanted to go from the east side of town to the west side of town, there would be a defined route to get there, right? In fact, most people would take that route because it is probably the easiest, fastest, most convenient way to get to that side of town. What do you do when that route is blocked, however?
No matter how easy, fast, or convenient any given method is for getting what we want out of life, there are a myriad of things that could jump directly in our way on the road to goal attainment. If we don’t have a back-up plan, then we are stuck staring directly at a road block, with nothing left to do but turn around and go home in defeat.
There is another option here, however, and it requires you to look at your goal from a more global perspective, rather than believing there is only one road that will get you to wherever it is that you want to go. Your path to success is NOT a permanent road. There is only one goal, but there are multiple ways to get there.
If you pin your entire hopes, dreams, and desires on one method, one set of circumstances, or one path, then your very happiness in life will be dependent on that one method, circumstance, or path.
It is important not to view that which stands in your way as your ‘enemy.’ It can often be your best friend, sending you on a detour that takes you around what could have been your biggest stumbling block.
– Neale Donald Walsch
It is certainly understandable that we tend to see things in black and white. A certain cause will result in a certain effect, and we were all taught as children that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
Life does not deal in straight lines, however!
Picture the following scene to illustrate this concept in a real-world, 3-dimensional scenario:
You are standing on one side of a deep chasm, and you need to get to the other side. The chasm is very deep, and there is an old, rickety rope-bridge tied to trees on either side, and the whole thing looks pretty unstable.
You HAVE to get to the other side, though. What do you do?
Most 3-dimensional thinkers would say that they have no choice – it’s the rope-bridge or nothing. Why do they think that way? The rope-bridge is a straight line.
In truth, there are multiple ways to get across a chasm, but when I painted the scene earlier, you immediately assumed that you had limited resources. That is exactly what we do in life, which is why we tend to base all of our hopes for success on the results of any one plan of action.
There are unlimited ways for us to get what we want out of life (to get across our chasms), yet people tend to only see one path, or maybe a small handful of paths, and they ignore anything that they personally don’t see or don’t understand.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but if you think that your way is the only way that could possibly work, not only are you being radically short-sighted, but you’re being a bit ego-centric, too.
Who are you to say that whatever methods you personally come up with are the best methods for getting what you want?
- Logic and reason don’t always work
- Throwing caution to the wind doesn’t always work
- Asking others for advice doesn’t always work
- Getting educated/informed doesn’t always work
- Following the examples of others doesn’t always work
In fact, there is NOTHING that always works for every person. Each situation is different, and the outcome of each situation is different.
The phrase “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten” is a truth of our existence that most people believe in wholeheartedly, as well they should. Here’s the rub, though:
Someone else could come along and do what you have always done, but get completely different results.
You, on the other hand, need to change tactics.
- If you have been using logic and reason, then perhaps you need to get more esoteric: Meditation, visualization, affirmations, etc.
- If you have always flown by the seat of your pants, and that hasn’t worked, then get more “grounded” and try more traditional methods.
- If you have always followed the advice of others, but you still aren’t successful, then maybe you need new mentors, or maybe you should just look inside your own mind for your answers.
- If you have spent years getting educated/informed/experienced so that you could be successful, but you still aren’t, maybe it’s time to put the books down and start applying what you have learned.
- If you have followed the lead of successful people before you, but their methods aren’t working for you, why don’t you try coming up with your own methods?
The bottom line is that no matter what methods you have been using, if they haven’t worked yet, then they probably never will. Open up your mind to the possibility that your path to success may be so confusing, so convoluted, and so backwards and illogical that you could not possibly imagine it in advance.
Once you are in that open-minded state, you may very well be amazed at how clear things suddenly become.