Signposts are meant to guide us in the correct direction towards our intended destination. Our own experiences can serve this same function, as signposts guiding us along in our life’s journey. These signs from the past serve as reminders of where we’ve been, so that we don’t make the same mistakes again. But, they also give us hope that we are still on the right path to reaching our goals and dreams for ourselves in the future.
We often judge one another by signposts that we all recognize. These include milestones in our lives like graduations, marriages, births, or promotions. They tell us that we’re making progress and growing. Still, what if we aren’t concerned with setting milestones, going through life without ever having one of these moments society defines as so important? We may still do just fine. But, does that make our lives any less important than those who had a big event? It does not, even if some people seem to think these milestones are necessary.
It’s important to pay attention to what we learn from our experiences. These lessons can be extremely valuable in helping us understand who we are and how we interact with others. They shape our future interactions and influence many of our daily decisions. But, sometimes it’s hard to know which experiences will be most influential and beneficial in helping us become better people.
Also, it’s too common for us to let certain experiences take up too much of our attention. One of life’s greatest challenges is letting go. As we age and responsibilities pile up, it gets harder to leave our troubles behind when leaving work each day. So, when you find yourself asking, “where do I go from here,” what should you do?
The best way to combat burnout and make your day more enjoyable is taking a literal break. Get away from your normal routine and take yourself some place you’ve always wanted to go. This sort of impromptu vacation can do wonders for you mentally and physically. Taking time away from your daily life also allows you to identify what’s really causing your stress.
These moments outside of your routine allow you more of a chance to think about what signposts have been left along your journey so far. Which experiences continue to guide you? Also, which experiences may be holding you back from your path going forward? What could you learn to let go, things that are long over or no longer important to your life now, yet still have pull over you in one way or another? It’s only when we step back and reflect on why we are here now, and learn to let go of what no longer serves us, that we can successfully move forward.
So, what’s next after we learn to reflect? We all want to feel like we are still moving forward in life. But, sometimes it’s hard to see how our experiences can help us do that. Still, if you look back at what you were struggling with two years ago, a year ago, or even just a few months ago, you can see what you gained from these experiences. This is the value of being retrospective.
So, while it’s important to appreciate where we are now and understand where we want to go next, these two points aren’t always on one linear path. The important thing is that our individual journeys take us somewhere meaningful in spite of all the twists and turns along the way. But, if we stop and think, we’ll recognize these signposts that pointed us here. It doesn’t mean we ever have to go back, but without our experiences, our lives would all look quite a bit different than they do now.