OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES

Gary GruberGratitude Learning LifeOBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES

OBSTACLES AND CHALLENGES

We traveled Dec 2 from Jocotopec, Jalisco, Mexico, at the eastern end of Lake Chapala, to Lo de Marcos, Nayarit, MX, on the Pacific Ocean, about 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. Granted that we’re driving our motorhome, towing a car, and given Mexican roads and traffic, we expect such a trip to take longer than it would in the United States. Distance was about 190 miles although a detour made it closer to 225 miles with an average speed of about 32 mph.

As I was writing a thank you note to a friend whom we had left earlier in the morning and describing our trip, it occurred to me that these kinds of trips are great metaphors for what we experience elsewhere in life. We encounter numerous obstacles and challenges and you can see if any of these might parallel challenges in other parts of your life and might fit you or someone you know as we travel along life’s highways.

First, although not necessarily the biggest, is the challenge of bad roads. Bumpy, lots of potholes, narrow lanes and shoulders or none at all, winding curves over steep hills and mountains, and missing signs. So, what to do? Lesson learned? Slow down and don’t worry about what other people think about your taking it a little more slowly than they might like. They can and will deal with it.  Not only applicable to highways and travel but to other realities as well.

Very heavy traffic, whether in multiple lanes around cities or two lanes through the country can be stressful when that traffic is filled with people who know where they’re going, want to get there in a hurry and are driving every conceivable conveyance from very large trucks and buses to slow, little pickup trucks burning oil and smoking fumes while blocking your lane. What to do? Go with the flow, set your own pace and get comfortable in different conditions. Adapt, adjust and be willing to change your routines.  So true whatever we’re doing, wherever we are.

Roads closed or under construction and a wrong turn can slow you down more than you want. It may not be so much about what you want as what you are given. How you deal with what you’re given and work that into your view of a bigger picture can make the difference between being frustrated and disappointed to being grateful for where you are.  Make the most of what is rather than complain about what is not.

At the end of a trip, or an experience, and looking back, what were lessons learned that might serve us well in the future? Here are seven from yesterday.

  1. It’s not about time, or how fast or slow, it’s about completing the journey successfully.
  2. Change your attitude and you change the conditions.
  3. Courtesy is indeed contagious and pays off too.
  4. Take what comes, accept it, deal with it or go another way.
  5. It helps enormously to have a co-pilot/partner.
  6. Be grateful for all the skills and resources you have available.
  7. Celebrate the completion with a terrific dinner at your favorite restaurant, with a view if possible.

 

 

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