The Real Simple article (posted last Friday, December 23) about finishing had an interesting comment that has stuck with me.
One of the reasons, or so suggested by the life coach, the author never finished her projects was that her father modeled a talented yet multiple scattered existence: he had so many work and volunteer projects that he was all over the place. The author's life coach wondered what it would've been like if her dad had focused on just one of his projects and interests. "But what if he'd devoted himself to only the mobile van [providing health care for the homeless], say and instead of just having one van, he'd developed a whole fleet of them to serve the entire country? Wouldn't he have accomplished more? Did you ever wonder if he himself wished he's walked one path instead of 30?"
Wow. Made me think of my own paths. My life's journey is definitely like the "The Ramble" at Central Park. Every time we visit and explore the park, we end up getting "lost" in the ramble located on the west side. Obviously we get out of the park but it always takes longer than expected. So many twists and turns back on itself. I certainly enjoy the views, the birding and the flora and fauna but once I get stuck on one of its trails, I secretly kick myself for having started down that path.
The question of accomplishing more or being more effective has given me pause. I am wanting to challenge myself to see if 1) I can finish the projects that I have started. 2) Be intentional with those projects. Only begin those that keep me on one path. The plan evaluation would be to see if I can accomplish more and be more effective. And, if that is what I want to do. I find that I like variety but I am wondering at what cost?
The path for me this coming year is writing. I am hesitant to reveal my overall life's goals for fear it won't happen. (In the past, I have noticed that when I say I will do something, it generally never happens. When I think about accomplishing something, I am more likely to do it and then surprise others and myself with that accomplishment.)
What about you? Have you ever thought of your life as a series of paths? Do you wander here and there, like Billy from The Family Circus comic strips? Or do you stay on a specific path, never veering left or right? Do you feel that you are effective in your life? Are the distractions of the different paths causing you to not finish what you start? Are the many paths providing joy or frustration? Perhaps 2017 will be the year to challenge yourself to finding a path that provides joy.
How many paths do you traverse? One or thirty? How many paths will you traverse in 2017?