Life Lessons on the Walking Trail

Life Lessons. Sometimes they come in the strangest of places. Sometimes in the most common. And sometimes when we least expect it.

I was out on a walk with my dog admiring the clouds in the sky, the way the sun shone thru them, and the flowering purple thistle weeds in the fields on the side of the walking path. What beauty I thought to myself as my dog stopped to smell his own set of beauty (in this case another dog that had been on the trail)! I was soon greeted by a young boy out on a bike ride. The boy whizzed by, seemingly on a mission. A short way behind him, I could see what appeared to be his mom and younger sister approaching. Suddenly, I heard the mom holler,

“You know why that happened? Because you weren’t looking forward. You were looking behind you.”

I was not sure what she was referring to until I got around the bend in the path and could see the spillage. The young girl had seemingly fell off her bike and the mom was attempting to get her back up on her bike. Not the most compassionate thing to say to her young daughter who was sprawled out on the pavement, and starting to cry. The young girl soon recovered and got off the ground and back on her bike with a little encouragement (and compassion) from her mom. Soon the mom was hollering again. This time it was a little more encouraging as the girl confidently pedaled ahead of her mom en route to catch up with her brother.

As I continued my walk, I pondered what this mom had said. While it was not the most compassionate thing to say to a five year old who had just fell off her bike, the words spoken were so true to many reasons why we struggle. We are spending too much time looking behind us at the past that we miss what is right in front of us or coming in our path in the near future. How many times have you spent wondering why something happened the way it did instead of determining your path forward or the endless possibilities that await you? How many times have you gone searching for something from someone else when it was right there within you all along?

That’s what I love about coaching. You spend time focusing on the future you want to see and how you want to show up and feel, rather than how you got where you are or why you did what you did. Sure, retrospection can be helpful at times, yet it can be a significant barrier to moving forward. What would you do to live your best self yet if you focused forward? What are the possibilities?

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