What I Learned About Business Goals From a 400 Year Old Homestead I've Never Seen
September 2, 2019
This blog thing is an organic process. The purpose is to help other people who are trying to accomplish similar things. I haven’t arrived yet. I have no six-figure bank account at the moment, but I want to pass on what I’ve already learned because I believe in sharing. I believe in generosity. This one will be less meat and potatoes and more about the heart and soul that goes into cooking the stew, so I hope you bear with me.
I really believe that thoughts are the most powerful force on earth. Think about it. The world is in the state it’s in because of the way people think. Our thoughts become manifest through the actions we take, based on whatever it is we believe. It’s really very simple. I use affirmations and quotes that resonate as a way of rewiring my thinking, and it is a daily effort. Like anything you practice daily, it becomes easier and easier, and eventually innate.
One of my favorite quotes that keeps me on track is, “When you know your destination, then your path doesn’t matter at all.” The reason I repeat and re-read the same affirmations is because they take on more meaning with each reading. Each recitation embeds the understanding deeper and deeper and becomes not just a cool thought floating around but resides with me on a cellular level.
This morning I was walking my dog and this quote was rattling around in my head. The place I’ve been walking her is directly across the road. I am lucky enough to live in a wooded country area of Rhode Island that is very tranquil and beautiful. The beach is less than two miles as the crow flies and we are surrounded by oak trees and white pine, deer, wild turkey, fox, coyotes, wild-flowers, and any number of birds and insects. The place we walk is a state land trust that contains a beautiful trail that is about 3 miles. I’ve never done the entire thing, as my dog is old, and she isn’t up to it. We only go in about a hundred yards, but I’ve read about the trail and heard about it from friends. Its an old homestead/farm that was established in the late 1600’s. There are remnants of a stone building that I have yet to see and other interesting telltale signs of the people who worked the land there. We walk as far as a moss-covered stone wall about waste high. The fact that it has been sitting there for 400 years is both astonishing and inspiring.
As I slowly walked the path, I thought what a cliche metaphor a wooded path is for a human life and I chuckled a little. And then this occurred to me. This trail has a destination that I have knowledge about. I know what it is, why it’s there, and who created it, but I have yet to see it with my own eyes. I have a picture of it in my head as its been described to me by friends who have been there, and I know from experience it will probably look differently than I imagine once I see it for myself. I’ve been walking this path for almost two years and haven’t made it past the first stone wall.
Maybe this trail is the perfect metaphor for my life. I KNOW I will have a successful children’s book business. The fact that there are millions of people doing the same thing doesn’t discourage me. I know I am on the right path; I know what the destination is, I just don’t have any knowledge of what the destination actually looks like. I don’t know what the rest of the path looks like either. I don’t know what twists and turns there are, if it narrows or opens up into fields. But as I was walking the trail, I reminded myself to look at how beautiful it is right where I am. I noted at the thickness of the forest, the richness of the soil and abundance of nature, the loving and loyal companion that walks with me every day, spider webs, little critters, nests, and berry bushes, the colors and textures, and the sun and sky peeking through the tops of the trees.
This is it. This is how to live life and find happiness. Don’t mistake material things with abundance. If you know your destination, keep walking and don’t worry about which way the path turns just know it will turn and you’ll eventually get there. Keep the goal in mind but realize it may look a little different than you imagine and be open to that. Stop and rest if you need to. Go back to the beginning if you have to relearn something, but notice and enjoy the abundance and beauty along the way.
Until next time, keep writing, keep drawing, keep dreaming.