On My Mind: Moving Forward

Words from the publisher

Life is a journey. We’ve all heard that idea many times, expressed in many ways. But to make the most of that journey, sometimes we need to pause at the crossroads along the way, to look back at the distance we’ve traveled and toward the paths leading into the future.

First, let’s look back. In the far distance, we’ll see the road paved by our family history; closer at hand are the miles that trace our own path to adulthood. Now, let’s look forward, where twists and turns and hills and valleys await. This part of the journey—the future—is inextricably linked to the past. Our family, teachers, mentors, and friends have shaped us into who we are. They have helped us define what we believe in and value, and what makes life worth living. Those people, and the experiences we’ve accumulated over time, can help guide our journey and prepare us to do things we haven’t even dreamed of yet.

Photo by Mim Adkins

At so many points in life we stand at a crossroads, deciding which direction to take next. One road might be smooth and safe, with no steep drop-offs, no potholes, and no signs reading “Construction ahead.” Another road might be full of potholes, warning signs, and steep hills that offer terrifying glimpses of the twisting turns ahead.

If you’re like me, you’ve stood at those crossroads more than once, and they’re scary places to be. It’s tempting to play it safe. But choosing a smooth, predictable path might not lead to a fulfilling life—or at least not the most fulfilling life possible. We never know where life will lead us if we’re brave enough to follow more challenging routes. Most likely, we can do far more than we imagine—but only if we are willing to take risks, keep an open mind, and dare to say, “This is it!” What if, instead of holding on for dear life to what’s familiar and friendly, we embraced the unknown and prepared ourselves for adventure?

Our personal journey is what makes us unique, and we can use that uniqueness to our advantage. It’s easy for us to compare ourselves to others and think that we could accomplish our dreams if only we had what another person has. We’ve all done it. But only when we capitalize on our own circumstances, relationships, and experience to help us find our way do we make real progress toward the life we’ve dreamed of.

I believe in finding the positive in whatever you face and having no regrets. And I believe in building on that foundation. What’s holding you back from truly moving forward?