Life goes fast. Life has a lot of ups and downs, for everyone. Some people seem to have higher highs than us, some definitely have lower lows than us. How can we be happy?
Meet John (not his real name). He’s a guy I know. In his 30s, he has a young family and a gorgeous and loving wife. He has cancer. And he is not getting better. He is obviously in a lower low than most of us. Life can be so cruel, unfair, disappointing. It is so unfair. It is disgusting.
I haven’t asked him what he would change if he could. In fact, everyone would change something from their past. Nobody’s perfect, and we don’t always make good decisions. But if you are like me, not sick, not dying… don’t we have the most precious thing? Time, and to a certain extent, health. We still have a little bit of time to appreciate what we have. We never know how much time we have ahead of us. So why always put your dreams off? If you are like me and have a serious case of wanderlust, then why not make our dream come true? Because you know what? If you wait too long, you might never have the chance.
There is this interesting tradition: pilgrimage. In our Western life, this tradition has largely died out. Except for the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, a Catholic pilgrimage with routes stretching from places as far afield as France and Italy, all leading to a church in a tiny Spanish town. I am not encouraging you to convert and pilgrim. I want you to consider having a goal and working to achieve it. This is what a pilgrimage is. Physically, a pilgrimage will be challenging, and life changing. A lot of modern-day pilgrims report experiencing a kind of breakthrough along the way, an epiphany that they would never have achieved without tackling the task.
So if you set yourself a goal: travel around the world. Visualize that goal. Think about it. Meditate on it. Break that big goal into smaller steps so you can keep track of what you have achieved and what’s coming next. Walk through every step and appreciate each moment, just as a pilgrim will appreciate de vista from a mountain he just climbed. Work hard to get closer to your goal. If you really want it, you can have it. Setting your eyes on the prize and pushing beyond your limits to get there will make you realize how limiting the very idea of limits can be.
And don’t wait too long, you never know what tomorrow will bring.