After a day on Noppharat Thara Beach in Thailand, I decided to take a walk back to the hotel to do some work. It had already threatened rain, but just a few drops were falling, so I felt comfortable walking rather than taking a tuk tuk (taxi). I even felt pretty confident that I knew the way to the hotel – although I had been driven that morning by the hotel owner, it seemed pretty straightforward – just follow the road.
About five minutes into the walk, the heavens opened. Quickly putting the cover on my rucksack to protect Tigger and Snuff, my soft toy travel companions, and to guard my precious journal against damp, I set off up the road. As I walked, though, the road started to seem less and less familiar – and it seemed to be much further away than I thought it was going to be. All the little shops and hotels by the side of the road were strangers to me – and I began to doubt my plan. By this time, I was totally drenched. I’d got no money in my pockets for a taxi, and the locals were too busy getting where they needed to go to stop and pick up a drowning tourist.
“So, do you turn back or do you carry on”, I asked myself. I wasn’t sure how i could have made a mistake – I thought I knew where I was going – and I thought I had started off in the right direction too. As I thought back, I was still pretty certain that I had started out right – so why did everything look so badly wrong?
I’m not sure why I carried on going. It might have been that I couldn’t see an alternative – it might have been sheer bloodymindedness – it might have been despair – or it might even have been faith that I had got it right after all. The rain carried on pouring down in sheets, and the crackle of thunder and lightning echoed off the hills. And as I walked further, still nothing seemed familiar. There was a lake that I had not seen, a hotel that wasn’t in my memory of the street.
And then suddenly I realised that the 7-11 store I could see was the one I was expecting, and the fairground sign was exactly what I was looking to find. I was right after all. A few minutes later, I was in a hot shower.. I’d made it.
So, here’s the thing. How many of us set out on our journeys and give up? We set out in confidence, thinking we know what we’re doing – but after a while we begin to doubt ourselves. Perhaps things are harder than we expect – perhaps a little rain starts to fall. It all looked so easy when we set out – but now we are in unfamiliar territory, and nothing’s as we thought it would be.
And it’s taking so much longer than we thought it would – so we panic and turn round. But just a little more patience – just a little more faith in ourselves and in our judgement would see us safely home – would see us reach our goals.
For me, when I set out to create my own business, I thought it would be easy. I thought I would be in profit by the end of the year. I was severely tempted to give up. It was harder than I thought, and I really felt I had lost my way – I was going in the wrong direction. All I had to go on was my original plan, my intention, my inner knowing – and I had to reach back and trust that.
So what is it for you? It might be a dream that you’ve given up on – the feeling that you must have been wrong in the first place. You might be thinking that it should be happening by now – that you must have got it wrong.
Hang in there. Trust your dream. Trust your desire. Trust your plan. Sure, you might have to adjust it from time to time – but the heart of it will be right. You’re going in the right direction… and you’ll get there. Probably sooner than you think. Keep the faith. Hold on to what you know. And trust yourself – you are wiser than you think.