Life is a journey that sometimes takes you flying on the highway, stopping and starting on city streets, or slow and steady on country roads.
Sometimes life feels like a road race. At times, you are in the lead and things are going great.
At other times, everyone is passing you by and you cannot understand why — or even worse, you are stuck on one-way streets that keep you going in circles.
There are all sorts of opportunities and many different roads you can take, and yet you have only a vague idea of where you are trying to go. Many times, you choose a road that seems all right at the time, but in fact turns out to be a dead end or takes you someplace you really do not want to be.
In all areas of life, there are new routes or pathways to be taken, but which is the right one?
The road of life is strewn with obstacles, and there are a variety of issues to deal with simultaneously. The trick is finding ways to navigate those problems with creative solutions. A life road map designed by and for you can help you stay on track.
Many people and life experiences influence your road map of life. These past experiences, combined with your personal strengths and weaknesses, have created your unique life map.
You cannot turn back the clock and change your past; however, you can learn from it so that you can change or direct your future. Your personal life map is unique to you and will give you a clear and deep understanding of yourself, your power and your potential.
As you create your life map, be sure to include rest stops where you can pause to consult your maps, ask for directions, find a guide and reflect on where you are going. As you create your personal life road map, you will notice patterns emerging that include detours, successes and failures.
You will use the map to answer important questions: Where have I been? Where am I? Where am I going?
Life transitions are often difficult, but they have a positive side, too. They provide you with an opportunity to assess the direction your life is taking. They are a chance to grow and learn. Here are some ideas that may help make the process rewarding.
• Blaze new trails: Accept that change is a normal part of life
• Rest stops: Give yourself time to heal and reflect
• Map or GPS system: Identify your values and life goals
• Potholes: Recognize emotions are part of the process
• Scenic routes: Stop and smell the roses
• Break through the barriers: Develop a good support system
• Roadblocks: “Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas”
Chloe D. Merrill is on the faculty of the Weber State University department of child and family studies. The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect those of WSU.