Insights from the Pavement: Detouring Outside Control


Often when we travel, we are faced with situations in which we really don’t know how to act. And every so often what we do in these situations is not seen in the most positive or pleasant light.

When faced with a situation most of us would be uncomfortable or unfamiliar with, our first reaction may be to smile, to make an open gesture with our bodies or hands, or to altogether look for an escape. And in many cases, this could signal a variety of responses from out onlookers – not all of which are good.

In this way, travel is a metaphor for a larger lesson in our lives that might help us to prevent the reactions of others, to impact our actions or feelings at home. Because, as our attention may be acutely focused on the reactions of others, we are also keenly aware of how our friends and family will react to us in our own communities.

It’s tough, sometimes, to say or do things that we know others might not like. But if we concentrated all of our actions on what we thought others might think of them, we’d likely never act at all.  And allowing the opinions of others to control our lives, even in small ways, is never good.

What matters in this life is not what others think of us. It’s what we think of ourselves that’s most important. In fact, the more positively we think of ourselves, the more likely we are to act in ways that might seem bold or adventurous to others. And we will begin to see ourselves taking chances that we would have never taken earlier for fear of what others might think.

Of course, this activity is limited only to positivity and that which doesn’t adversely affect others. Abrupt, negative, angry actions made against others may also be seen as bold and adventurous too. But positive actions are those which harm no one – including ourselves. And when seen in this way, the negative comments others made in response to our actions, is their version of negativity – not ours. And it in fact, more likely reflects their own self-consciousness or lack of personal strength because that’s the exact message that they are projecting.

When we resolve to make decisions that make our lives better while not affecting (or positively affecting) others’ lives, we’ve chosen to carve our own path out of this life and seek only that which makes us happy.

After all, the more we do what is best for ourselves, the better equipped we are to make a greater impact on our lives. We will be stronger, bolder, more adventurous versions of our once-selves. And we will see this mindset grow exponentially as we offer ourselves bigger, bolder, more adventurous lessons in the future.

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