Unhappy Monday, buttercups!
Shit’s about to get real metaphorical here today, so buckle up.
I went on a hike last week- a waterfall hike on a truly picturesque spring day. While it was by no means the most rigorous hike of all time, there were many places where the path became especially rugged, obscured by branches, stones, and leaves, and places where small not-actually-paths ran off of the trail, each one threatening to derail me from the good and honest hiking trail and land me straight onto the I-am-lost-as-shit-in-this-woods-not-really-a-path-path.
As I was walking (hiking is really just walking guys, did you know?) I noticed something: If I simply kept my eyes on the ground directly beneath my feet, I had no problem navigating at all. On the other hand, every time I looked ahead of myself, I experienced a very-mini panic; I couldn’t decipher the path up ahead at all, couldn’t tell in which direction I was supposed to continue. “Oh shit, which way am I supposed to go?” I would think. “I really don’t want to lead us astray.” “Man that would suck if I led us astray.” “Have I already led us astray?” And on. In fact, every time I turned to look in any direction other than right where I was standing, I felt those same emotions. Even ground I had just covered now looked unrecognizable. “How in the hell did I make out the path back there?”
Yet every time, as I continued moving forward, reached the point I had been looking ahead to previously, I would realize that the correct path was perfectly obvious. The only thing that was ever clear at any given moment was the spot on which I was standing.
And right then and there– really, I’m not pulling this out of my ass now just for the sake of a blog post– I realized how this recurring hiking-path-deciphering-process was a lesson for life.
Yes, of course, it is important to sometimes look forward, to plan for the future, blah blah. And yes, sometimes it’s nice to look back and reminisce. But the thing is this: The most important spot on which to fix your gaze is always the ground directly beneath your feet. If you spend too much time gazing in any other direction, you will surely begin to feel lost, begin to panic, to doubt your own ability to move forward at all.
Here is what I want you to know: the path will always present itself to you the exact moment you land on it. It may not do so ahead of time. You may be completely in the dark about which way you’re supposed to go just three measly paces ahead. But when you reach that spot, you will know the way. The path will appear for you. Have faith in that fact.
Image credit: Dave Allen