Okay picture this; a busy highway stuffed with traffic, horns blaring, people yelling, everyone jammed because they are all trying to get to one destination. They all think they have to get to this one place to pick up this one item, happiness. They’ve been told if they stick on this road they’ll eventually get there and receive that happiness for staying on this one highway. Who told them? Oh some celebrity, social media…. Society, some famous person who seems to have it all together. They just have to stay on this big commercial highway to get there…… can you imagine the traffic jam that must be?
Okay now picture this; a small sign on the side of that highway. It’s pretty little, not big like the huge billboards screaming out things you need to buy to succeed in life. No it’s just a little sign that states: Detour- life this way. You turn off the crazy packed highway and start driving down this narrow road that twists and turns through some hills before opening up to a picturesque view. Nature surrounds you. Mountains rise to touch the clear blue sky; there are bodies of water as deep blue as a sapphire twinkling with the sun’s reflection. There are some bumps in the road and definitely some ups and downs with all the mountains, but you reach the top of that one hill and everything just pans out in front of you, crisp and fresh and beautiful calling your name. Not material things, no… nature, animals, the sky…. The pure beauty of life all around you is calling you, and you get to be a part of this all.
So often we get caught up in the fast track, the treadmill almost of life. The need to get this and that to be happy, to be like other seemingly happy people out there. If it’s on social media it must be true right? I find myself often falling victim to this. Seeing a site with smiling people living the perfect life and I suddenly start picking apart mine to find the faults so I can fix them to get that perfect life. What am I doing wrong compared to those people? That’s when the tunnel vision comes in, that’s the traffic jam on that big packed highway when we are all just annoyed and only have society’s goal ahead of us. That’s when we need that breath of fresh air, we need to find that road less traveled.
How can you do that though? What are ways you can remind yourself during your crazy busy day that you need to look up? You need to remember to find your true happiness and what your extremely passionate about, not what someone or something else dictates to you.
One way that really helps me is to actually go out and physically find a road less travelled. Get out into the less populated areas, the places where wildlife and nature is rich and present all around you, and then let yourself think. Allow yourself to take some quiet time out there to really think about what you want out of life, what lights your soul on fire, what makes YOU truly happy. Take that time to refocus and make firm your foundation. So when you do return to the hustle and bustle you can remind yourself of that feeling in that special place of yours. Those dreams that you hold so dear and that make you glow all happy and warm inside.
Another way that helps me is writing actually. All types of writing. It can be journaling, typing on the computer, blogging, jotting down thoughts… but writing about things you like to write about or thoughts you want to work out on paper. Taking that time to put ideas down into words and giving yourself that step back then to read what you wrote as well. Gratitude journaling is amazing because you are reminded of all the incredible things going on in your life for you. Some days might be harder than others to find something or that silver lining, but it’s there. I have a friend who writes a bullet list of self-love, appreciation, and gratitude phrases every single morning. That is inspiring to me, all the beautiful positivity flowing from that lady. Do what you can, if you need to start out small do that, but look for the good things out there in your life. They are there I promise!
These are just a couple ways that help me. I find when you consciously start to try and make a difference in taking control of your happiness it after a while becomes second nature. If you take the extra time now to go for that detour, that road less traveled there might be some bumps here or there or some glimpses of the mainstream highway at the beginning, but if you plug along, the road will widen and flourish right in front of your eyes. Your road and detour is important. You get to decide your road in life so why not take that detour and find so many adventures along the way? Those surprises are where life happens.
Photo by Michael Holt