Along the path to freedom you will encounter many unknowns.
If we are not at our freedom destination right now, then we do not yet know where that path leads.
Therefore we must find that path, or sometimes even make that path ourselves.
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now this advice may not sit well with Sierra Club members trying to preserve the natural forest, but we’re not talking about taking a stroll through a quiet wooded area right now. We are talking about the path that you choose for your life.
There will be opportunities to take the well worn trails in life. These can be multi-lane freeways that the vast majority of people are mindlessly traveling on, asleep at the wheel of their lives. Simply following the familiar paths that they have chosen.
As one who is going against that flow, you will be encountering many obstacles on your journey. How you react to these will largely determine how far you get on your path to personal freedom.
When those around you are talking about “Someday…” you are walking your path today. When other “wish they could…” you are making progress knowing that you will be free.
When ancient mariners were exploring unknown seas, their maps often had in the margins, “Here Be Dragons”. These dragons were the manifestations of their own fears. The fear of the unknown. Did the distant sea simply fall off the map at the horizon like it appears to? What happens when you sail beyond where you can see?
Those that will find their route to freedom will be the ones who do not back down from their fear-dragons. These dragon slayers will continue to push forward, through the fear, past the dragons.
They do not let the talk of dragons keep them from sailing beyond their vision. Knowing that as they move forward, their vision goes ahead of them.
They do not stop when they get to the edge of their map. They continue on, mapping the way for those that will follow. They are trailblazers, pathfinders, leaders. Not only gaining their own freedom, but also setting an example to those that are quietly, hopefully watching them. Those that have not yet found the courage to face their fear-dragons.
The dragon slayers light the way forward. They press forward when the world around them is withdrawing. When the people they know continue to follow the freeways of life, remaining safely within their known corridors, those that seek their freedom will blaze their own path.
To find your freedom, do not withdraw when you find resistance. If you know that you are on the right path, then push forward. Keep your momentum. Trim your sails and stay the course.
You will be tested.
The route to freedom is the path that is not popular. For if it were, everyone would be there. Those not willing to kill their dragons will want you to remain on your current path as this is what is familiar and comfortable to them.
When you shift your direction, choose another path, it forces them to change. They must change their understanding of you and their expectations of you. This is uncomfortable for them. They have not chosen to change course, but because you have, your paths will diverge.
Many do not like this change. They choose to remain on their current path even though they speak of change. They wish for change. They claim that they want their freedom but the change that is required to attain it is too painful for them. They may even wander off their familiar path for a short time, but they tire quickly of making a new path and return to the familiar, easy route.
Do not let the people around you sway you from your task of becoming a dragon slayer. The life that you long to live depends on it!
Find your fear-dragons. Where do they hide? What makes them come alive? This is where you must be strongest in order to get past whatever it is that they are guarding. For this is where your freedom is found.
What dragons have you slayed today?