About ten years ago, someone told me that I “should be further along” than I was. Over the years, this well meaning (I’m sure) comment has continued to resonate, particularly as I. (and people around me) get older. Life has the potential to be fast-paced and if we’re not careful, we can believe it is happening ‘around’ us and perhaps even ‘to’ us, rather than a time and space that we are engaged in. We can perceive our experiences, especially those that have been challenging, or have dominated our time, as obstacles…as barriers to our progression – either in the moment, or as a retrospective account. I’ve noticed that the retrospective account will often be accompanied by either a woeful or apologetic tone…rather than being presented positively. As I’ve had plenty of time to ponder what it means to not have got as “far along” as ANother perceives I should have, I conclude these things:
1) There really are no ‘shoulds’…especially when referring to another’s life. I remember years ago when I facilitated personal development groups with women, who to all intents and purposes were ‘stuck’…how many of them referred to the ‘shoulds’ that they had become imprisoned by.
2) Every experience has value. It shapes us and defines who we are. No apologies necessary!
3) Experience and time help us to build our platforms, to decipher and fine-tune our craft/skills/talents. To find out what we do NOT like. Even my young daughter knew this…when she told me proudly, aged seven, that she was collecting things that she CAN do (referring to the vast amount of extra-curricular activities she does).
4) ANother does not truly know our heart….it is for us to discover what makes us ‘motor’…what fills us with joy and what truly can be determined as ‘success’ or ‘progress’.
5) The scenic route (as I like to call it), can be wonderfully beautiful, exciting and can remind us of what an adventure life can be. The scenic route enables us to discover new paths, carve out new beginnings and well….enjoy the ride.
So, next time you bemoan your restrictions, barriers and distractions and perhaps feel like you may not be where you ‘should be’…take this advice: put your ‘shoulds’ in the bin…and LIVE.