A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
Who’s this traveler? Why did Lao Tzu say that despite that he has no fixed plans, he is not intent on arriving?
How could that be? Is the quote promoting recklessness and enjoying the unlimited fun of adventures in traveling? What does Lao Tzu mean with traveling in this quote?
All these are valid questions but the beauty of the quote lies in the provocation it causes to the mind. How could a traveler not prepare for his trip and yet enjoy not arriving to his destination?
Life is an exciting journey, which is very similar to traveling. You prepare yourself each day and leave your home to a destination on a mission. During your journey, you encounter people, matters and challenges. You may or may not understand those people well enough to fathom why they do what they do. Others you feel you know by heart. Similarly, some of the obstacles you understand their nature, and thus, you deal with them, sometimes on daily basis. Others you stress about for a while until you find the proper solution.
One of the first principles of gaining clarity in your vision is to “know thyself”, as Socrates once said. Your thoughts dictate your actions, as Dr. Wayne Dyer always explains. So if you form enough knowledge around who you are, what your values, goals and life purpose are, and what your triggers are, the rest may just be understanding what the person in front of you wants and how you can provide that for them.
Knowing thyself spares one a lot of hardship and heartache, because once one understands matters for what they really are, and not what they are ‘supposed to be’, then, reality becomes more acceptable, and your choice of actions may be more relevant to it.
This sounds all too easy, but in application, it is the most purifying action one can do to rid one’s soul of the poisonous feelings, like anger, pain, hurt, fear, sadness, frustration and disappointment.
It’s very important that we keep checking in with ourselves to better understand how we are feeling around a certain matter, what we are thinking of it, and what actions to choose to make that would suit that particular situation. People who develop self-awareness as a key skill in their daily living, thinking and feeling are better able to cope with the different circumstances, to which they are subjected. Navigating their emotions towards matters that show up in their lives, coupled with optimism, provides a safe strategy for them to learn and move on, instead of stagnating in negative emotions (like fear, sadness, etc.)
Good travelers, as Lao Tzu says, overcome adversity as it shows up, hence, they do not need fixed plans as they know which direction they are walking. They can adapt to different circumstances, and continue to move on towards their goals with a renewed determination each time. Such travelers are not obsessed with whether or not they are reaching their destination, because they enjoy learning from the lessons they come across on their journey. They believe more learning leads to more fitness and joy in life.
Some tips on how to be a good traveler in your daily life
– Don’t stagnate and always make an informed move: Solving a problem, finding inner peace, and overcoming challenges lie in the kind of choices you make. If you choose to evade making an action, you’ll stagnate (zero traveling), and you may never attain your goals. Settling with being inside your comfort zone is an unproductive conception that does not lead anywhere. Don’t be afraid to make an informed move, as it is your vehicle toward reaching where you want to be.
– Navigate your emotions wisely: Contemplate a problem from all its corners, consider what your thoughts and feelings are around it, then follow the direction your inner compass (hunch) is pointing to.
– Don’t think of matters from an absolute point of view: The more you isolate different factors, happenings and obstacles, the more you are convincing your brain that what caused your progress to stop was just a temporary thing, and continue to proceed repeatedly with your plan of actions.
– Exercise positive thinking: Always consider at least two ways of looking at the same thing, especially when you have negative emotions towards it. Positive thinking is a habit that trains the brain to generate solutions instead of settling with a false sense of a defected reality.
“The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking.” — Robert H. Schuller
Copyright 2012 Wisdom Within Consultancy. All Rights Reserved for Wisdom Within Consultancy, Wisdom Within Coaching.