No matter if you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah and/or Kwanzaa, you notice the signs of change around us indicate that a new day has begun. I don’t mean from a spooky, Sci-Fi standpoint. Here, I speak of the Advent in reference to “new beginnings” and “fresh air”. Putting religiosity aside, 2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges, uncovering possibilities and the undone normal that we once knew. These are not limited to a global pandemic, the end of a political dynasty and the shift from traditional to virtual socialization.
It is quite interesting and even paradoxical that we will soon be closing out 2020. Many of us thought of “20/20” — equal vision, proportionate eyesight or a leveled cycle of karma. Yes, the year brought a new perspective on how we view and value our families, lives, jobs, and relationships. If you are anything like me, I envisioned that this year would go a certain way. Some of my friendships ended, unplanned detours presented themselves, and one toxic relationship ended while I entered into a more excitable and romantic one.
One of my favorite liturgical seasons is Advent. Advent, which began on November 30 and ends on December 24, emphasizes the call to prepare the reception of the Messiah — the Anointed One. The call to preparation constitutes bearing gifts of gratitude, cherishing the birth and reflecting on where, why and how of we all can experience new life in Christ. Without being super-religious, an advent of any kind anticipates the arrival or coming of someone or something. This term prompts an illustration I would like to employ, to which many of us can relate.
Air Travel. Although the CDC and other federal guidelines insist a more virtual style of gathering during this year’s holiday season, Americans have become rogue and stubborn in taking flight in the wintry skies. Granted, the lines will probably not be as long as usual; those of us who value convenience book airfare online so that the check-in process is quick seamless. In enough or too much time, others will await their turn at the counter for the next available window agent.
Once ticketing and baggage checks have been completed, there’s the area where everyone waits the longest: the security checkpoint. This part makes some of us uncomfortable as the TSA has meticulous security measures and procedures. Thanks to technology, wands are almost obsolete and pat-downs are the extreme last resort. Then, the terminal and airport concourses are the ‘oysters’ to explore until departure!
Fast-forward: We arrive to our selected destination! Whew — that was an adventure, whether pleasant or turbulent. Now, we have to get to the ultimate destination. Based on that analogy, I propose that consider that we indulge in focusing on a roadmap of reflection on life:
STEP 1: Determine how you are getting to your ultimate destination.
How do you plan to arrive to your ultimate destination? Start with writing a life road map. Create a vision board. Draft a game plan. It is not enough to dream of the destination, but it takes working the plan to bring the vision to past. Build a network of like-minded individuals who can help you in the manifestation of the vision. Figure out if you are ‘steering the wheel’ or if you will allow others to do it.
STEP 2: Calculate the cost of travel from the “connecting point”.
What are you willing to pay for it? For example, the “connecting point” contains paths to certification, educational advancements and job opportunities. Research eligible sources to fund your vision. Knowing the cost is vital to shifting us in the direction of our life’s sole purpose. Bridging the relationship between the “connecting point” and the ultimate destination determines the life or death of a dream or vision.
STEP 3: Identify who needs to accompany you during the trip.
Who’s traveling with you? Evaluate your inner circle. If you are the most dynamic, smart person in your circle, it’s time to part ways. Seek out experts and mentors to help encourage and guide you on your journey. Connect with individuals currently in the field you desire to pursue. The circle you dwell with determines the likelihood that you will reach your goals and achieve your purpose. Those who travel with you should either: a) recommend a more time-efficient, energy-saving route or b) warn you of safety precautions that lie ahead. Everyone who wants to ride with you does not deserve to do so.
STEP 4: Remove unnecessary baggage.
What do you need to release from your possession? “Dead weight” will not propel us into our purpose. Just as baggage affects the vehicle’s trajectory, traveling to the ultimate destination is impacted if we are mentally drained and inundated with multiple agendas, motives and priorities. Unnecessary baggage can be the root cause of an accident. When unaddressed, needless baggage creates further damage and can intensify previous trauma.
STEP 5: Stay focused on the road.
How badly do you want to arrive to your ultimate destination? The authority of the wheel is in your hands. The power-steering of your vision depends greatly on how well your discernment operates. You possess the keys to your own vision — which route you will take, how much interpersonal and individual energy it will require from you. Let wisdom be your guide and allow destiny to be your inspiration.
In the next season of destiny, the road ahead is not impeccable or fraught with challenges. We must embrace it in its fullness. How we engage the journey will produce fulfillment, prosperity and success within us. Bon voyage!