The Power of Remembering How Far You've Come

I have always imagined my life and its journey to be a path from A to Z with infinitesimal stops, checkpoints and gates in between. I do not believe in destiny but in the fact that we are the masters of our future, of course there may be millions of events in our life which are not in our control but for me, the key is to remember the end goal- the destination of the journey which shapes our decisions in that direction.

When we are positive, it’s all good- we have our direction, the frame of mind to take good decisions which will help us achieve our ultimate goal; but what happens when we are sad? Sometimes, we get into a series of events, coordinated or influenced by others affecting our positions due to the net of connections. This is something that has always fascinated me- the magnitude of effect of even a small decision around us! But that also overwhelms me with the kind of uncertainty we deal with in our daily lives. Even though we may schedule things which are in our control, put in effort to make things turn out in our favour, there is something always out of our span of control. And when our plans go awry, its almost as if we never had a plan and are back to square one! But we plan and we plan and we plan, only to realise that being spontaneous would have been better and the months (or probably years) of preparation have now gone down the drain.

But that is where we are wrong! Merely missing the achievement does not mean that the effort put over the time has gone waste. This is the time when we need to remember how close we have come to achieving our goal, even though we have missed to achieve it. Yes there were high stakes attached to achieving it, but guess what- this experience gained in the process is as valuable. Thus It is often said that we should get inspired from those who have achieved their goals and learn from those who tried but couldn’t.

The alternate path theory

Consider a starting point, A and a destination, D and three paths leading to it- A-B-D, A-B-C-D and A-C-D. We know that there are only three paths to destination D but we are unsure of the one which will lead us to it faster. After evaluating and taking calculated guesses we decide to go through path A-B-D. But due to heavy rains on the way, we realise that we cannot make it to point B in time. But we realise that if we go a little fast through a longer route A-B-C-D we just might be able to reach our goal in time. Now, we try our level best to get to point D in time. Yet again, there is another obstacle in between and we realise that going through point C maybe more time consuming but it will surely get us to the destination in time. Life’s like that. Sometimes we need to rule out options by trying them ourselves to be absolutely sure of the correct one left for us. Even though the first two attempts were unsuccessful, they ultimately led us to our destination by learning from our mistakes in the first two attempts and implementing the same.

Let me share a personal example with you. I have always been painfully shy and to be honest it has stopped me from achieving the great things that I dreamt of by not communicating at the right time/place/ in front of the right people. I believe I wouldn’t have been so shy if I went through a different external environment rather than the one that I was in-external factors which led me on to decide which path to take. I decided to change my approach to achieving my goals since my shyness was a hindrance to the current one and was making my rate of growth decrease exponentially. But as I grew older I realised that had I pushed myself to overcome my shyness bit by bit, I would have achieved a lot more in a shorter time. I was slowly coming to terms with the truth of matter that I had to attack the root of the problem and face it head on. Just thinking about overcoming shyness has pushed me to do things and learn from small experiences every day. Indeed my process of growth has been slow and delayed but every day I feel closer to my goal. And just last week I was going through the journal I wrote a few years ago and realised I had grown in terms of experience. I used to feel that I have remained the same over the years but going through my journal and getting in touch with my older self,made me feel that even though I took baby steps, there was a remarkable difference. This made me realise that I can reach greater heights by putting in a little more effort and now feel self-driven.

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