I’m seeing a TON of podcasts and emails right now about doing a deep dive not just into the last year, but the last DECADE. And then planning your big goals and dreams for the next year – or decade – of life.
I’m all about reflecting. And I’m all about big dreams. I have an entire day blocked off next week for reflection and strategic planning for 2020.
But I also know it’s easy to look back and instead of seeing what you’re proud of, you see all the places you feel behind. And then that feeling quadruples when you starting thinking about the future and some imaginary point when you’ll finally be have it all together and be complete.
I had a client recently tell me that she didn’t feel like she could rest until she was fully formed. Like she wasn’t already enough in this moment.
Have you ever felt like that? Like you just need the better job or a revenue level and then you will have made it. Or you need to get married. Or have kids. Or buy a house. Or lose 20 pounds.
Just one more thing and then you will be enough.
I’m here to say YOU ARE ALREADY ENOUGH.
You are both whole and constantly forming at the same time.
You are already amazing. And you are developing and learning every single day.
You have nothing to prove. You can stop hustling and take a breath.
You deserve to feel good on the journey – because it’s all a journey.
I’ll say it again. You are already enough.
Remember this as you reflect on the last year and dream your dreams for 2020.
The traveler has a recognizable look. Hair in need of a trim, beard long enough that is doesn’t have to be shaved. The traveler wears a t-shirt, perhaps from a local brewery picked up in a small town along the way. Never one from Machu Picchu or the Eiffel Tower, although the traveler has certainly been to both of those places. His khaki’s hang on his hips, looking threadbare and comfortable; they could easily be slept in if needed. Well-worn but supportive sandals adorn the traveler’s feet; the type of shoes that would be equally comfortable hiking in Utah or meandering through Rome.
The backpack is a telltale sign of the traveler. But not just any pack. The traveler’s pack is frayed at the edge. The straps hang loosely from years of gravity pulling them towards the Earth. A carabineer dangles from one of those straps, ready to secure a water bottle, roll of duct tape, or a bag of snacks for the bus ride. The fabric, no matter the original color, is tinged with brown, the product of riding down dirt roads and through rainstorms on the roof of a bus.
When the traveler is faced with a delay in his travel plans, he calmly finds the quietest corner of the bus station, sets down his pack and uses it as a chair back, seat cushion, or pillow, depending on his preference that moment. He pulls out a worn paperback, maybe The Alchemist or Siddhartha, and reads in that corner, able to simultaneously blend in and ignore all of his surroundings. Hours may pass, but the traveler doesn’t get frustrated; it’s all part of the journey.
If the traveler finds himself in trouble, perhaps unexpectedly caught an airport in an unfamiliar city in the middle of the night, there’s no need for concern. He simply looks around for the other travelers and asks what they are planning to do. Together they ride in a $2 taxi to the only hostel in the city that still has available beds. The travelers share a room for the night, unconcerned with sleeping next to strangers. In the morning they may part ways or perhaps they will continue on together, for a day, a week, a month. No need to plan, the traveler take each day as it comes, making decisions along the way.
If you’re on the road and happen to see the traveler, buy him a beer and ask him for a story. You will hear about the teenage boy that appeared in the dunes while he was camel trekking in the Thar Desert in India or the woman in Honduras that invited him to eat with her family and taught him to make tortillas. It will be well worth the few dollars you spent on the beer. Maybe you will continue your vacation to the Holiday Inn and sit by the fenced-in pool. Or maybe his stories will inspire you to buy a backpack, grow a beard, and become a traveler yourself.
Heather Whelpley is a coach working with people that want to have a meaningful career and live up to their own potential, but feel stuck in their job. See her home page to learn more. She is also the host of Destination Soul Shine, a community dedicated to nourishing your soul and making your spirit shine. Like Destination Soul Shine on Facebook or follow us on Instagram @destinationsoulshine for resources to inspire you to live a meaningful, healthy, creative life.
I wrote this poem on a flight home to Minneapolis after visiting friends in Seattle. Five days prior I had left the company where I had been working for eight years. I would be starting my new job in twelve hours. In that moment it felt like everything was simultaneously moving and standing still. The airplane was flying at 600 mph, yet it was so smooth I couldn’t feel any movement. My new work world was a complete unknown, but I felt solid in the decision to leave my previous company and do something different. Isn’t all of life like this? The balance of moving forward while remaining grounded, seeking change and maintaining stability, pursuing growth and pausing to rest.
The photo was taken on a beach at Cape Tribulation in Queensland, Australia.