by David DeFord
The Grocery Bag Analogy
Have you noticed how a plastic grocery bag acts by the side of the road? The wind from passing cars tosses it into the air according to the direction the car is traveling. The bag has no control of its movements; it travels by the external force of the air currents. It ends up where the wind determines.
We need not be subject to the winds of external forces. We have the freedom to choose our destinations. Don't we?
Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. We often allow ourselves to be swept along by life, rather than proactively choosing our paths. We need to passionately pursue what we want.
Early in our lives, we develop lofty dreams. Thoreau calls them “castles in the air.” We see ourselves becoming physicians, lawyers, famous authors, and we have many other beautiful dreams regarding how our lives will turn out.
But, as life kicks us around a bit, we lower our expectations, and begin to settle for what we have become. We cede control like the plastic bag—tossed by the winds of adversity and challenge and deposited where we along the side of the road that would have lead to our dreams.
Jim Rohn has said,
"If you don't have a plan (goals) for what you want, then you will probably find yourself buying into someone else's plan and later find out that wasn't the direction you wanted to go. You've got to be the architect of your life."
Before the builders of a massive office structure begin construction, architects spend months in designing it. They discuss functionality, beauty, local ordinances and make detailed plans for the building’s construction.
They produce blueprints that detail the physical structure, the ventilation and electrical systems. They consult with interior designers to create the finest arrangement for beauty and function possible.
Contrast that with a young boy building a tree house. He dreams of a place he can go to be alone-a secluded, secret place. He imagines a wonderful “castle in the air.” But, rarely do young men plan the details of such a structure. He may find a board and nail it up on a limb. Next, he finds some masonite, which he nails next to the board. As he finds materials, he adds them to his little structure. Without planning, his castle becomes less than a shack.
We do that with our lives. We take what comes, try to find a way to use it in our lives, and settle for what comes our way. Rather than planning what we will become, we settle for what comes to us.
We may have striven to reach our dreams and through opposition and trial, chose to give up on them.
Road Construction Analogy
If you were on your way to work and found barricades indicating that your usual route has been close for construction, what would you do? Give up and go home? Go somewhere else? Of course not, you would find another route to your destination.
We will often find barricades blocking our way toward our dreams. But, too often we give up and find another destination. Rather than changing our dreams, I suggest that we should change our route to our dreams. Find another way to get there. Make a new plan. The blueprints may change, but the basis of our dreams need not.
We need not settle. We can live our dreams. We need a plan.
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