As we start another school year, I can’t help but think of a Robert Frost poem that I quoted when I was MC at my high school graduation.
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”
It’s hard to take the road less travelled by. In school. In work. In life.
To blaze a trail you have to be confident, ready to get up when you fall, squash self-doubt and believe in yourself.
You might have to tell a friend you don’t want to do things their way. Or a boss you disagree. You might have to change careers or university courses. You might have to live your life off the beaten path. Amid judgement and questions and pain.
But looking back, I always learned the most during times when I thought there was no way I could do it. When I walked into the fire. Not knowing where I was going but trusting that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
Whether in the school yard or in the classroom, I hope my kids learn from challenges and embrace joy. I hope they meet new friends and grow with old ones. I hope they remember to be brave and kind. And I hope they always take the road less travelled.
I’ve seen a few lists lately about things to do to change your life. As a mom-of-three, the start of a new school year seems as good a time as any to turn a new leaf.
Everyone’s list should look a little different based on their goals, but many changes include going to bed earlier and getting up one hour before you would normally set your alarm, moving your body every day, eating foods that are less processed, cutting down on alcohol and television, thinking big, setting goals, taking small bits of action each day to move toward your dreams, drinking more water, reading things to expand your thinking, and putting worrisome thoughts where they belong… in the trash bin.
Andy Warhol once said, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
And Tony Robbins said, “For changes to be of any true value, they’ve got to be lasting and consistent.”
Every time you accomplish one of your goals, even just for a day, you will feel empowered and energized to continue to make change.
As Jack Canfield said, “If you can tune into your purpose and really align with it, setting goals so that your vision is an expression of that purpose, then life flows much more easily.”
I’ve heard that if you can add one hour to your morning, rising before anyone else in the house starts their day, you can accomplish much more than you might imagine. I’m starting with that. What would you put on your goal list today? Let’s make change together.
There’s something about September. The breeze gets a little cooler. The leaves turn a shade of bronze. And the kids start a new school journey.
Blank notepads. Sharpened pencils. A clean slate.
We can all take a page from this inspirational month. Act on a different idea. Follow a dream.
It’s all about the journey and taking that first step. It’s about entering the tunnel even when you can’t see the light at the other end yet. We can’t control what happens. There will be learning and growth from successes and challenges. But we can control one thing. Getting started. And once the ride begins, we need to hold on and take it all in.
As John Steinbeck once said, “A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
So what trip will you begin in September? Will you sign up for a course? Travel to a different city? Pick up a book you never considered reading before? Network with people who might teach you something new?
Open that notepad and start to write a fresh story. You hold the pen. Make it a September to remember.