November 22, 2014

Find Inspiration in Your Broken Paths

find inspiration

Find inspiration when you lose your way.

Can you find inspiration from the times you’ve lost your way? The other day, as I commented on some of my favorite freelance writing sites, I came across this post by the beautiful, Erin Feldman of Write Right: Why You Need to Get Lost. In the post Feldman talks about the feelings associated with literally getting lost. But she goes, cleverly, and weaves a word-picture that shows readers why getting lost may actually represent the only way we can truly ‘get found’ figuratively as well.

Find Inspiration in Your Broken Paths

You can indeed find inspiration in the broken paths and lost dreams of your journey through life. I don’t believe dreams ever get broken – just lost. When we move on from our little girl fantasies of emulating Taylor Swift and the like, or little boy dreams of becoming Batman, pieces of those magical dreams remain.

When we get a little older and can’t decide what to do with our college education or our experience from the proverbial university of life, we might get a little side-tracked. These jaunts down unknown paths and confusing choices can act as the catalyst for achieving true success if we let them.

inspiration

Stop your self-limiting thoughts.

The leftover pieces of these broken paths fit together to make a beautiful mosaic of sorts – a virtual objet d’art that tells the story of our journey to personal success.

How to Find Inspiration Down in the Rabbit Hole

You can find inspiration that serves as an amazing epiphany for your life even when you’re down in the rabbit hole. These times of uncertainty and confusion really represent a recipe for positive change, rather than a chaotic end to your vision. Here’s a basic outline of things I practice to find joy and growth in times of adversity and chaos:

  • Self-awareness – when our thoughts and focus become dominated by our adverse experience or current challenge, we often lose sight of our own part in the puzzle. Self-awareness is something we must continually strive to achieve and maintain. Start to consciously recognize how your reaction to challenges and situations affect others and may end up exacerbating the negative environment.
  • Observe – this is difficult for someone as verbose and social as me, but it’s vital to finding inspiration in all things. To put it bluntly, shut up for a moment and look at your surroundings and the people immediately around you. Silently and openly observing the world around you will give you clarity and emotional power – things you’ll need to change your perspective and outlook about a situation.
  • Gratitude – give thanks for the littlest things, the mundane, the ordinary. It’s in these little things that we find the extraordinary truths and epiphanies that help us to connect with others on an unspeakably deep level. Prayer and meditation that focuses on cultivating a gratitude for everything – even the challenges – in life has the power to transform your personal and professional world in ways you wouldn’t have thought to entertain as possible before.
  • Get Outside Yourself – Finally, let yourself breathe a little bit. Bask in overcoming the hardships you have overcome – in your victories. Eliminate self-limiting thoughts and open yourself to the needs of others. Ironically, by focusing on helping others and removing focus from your own issues, you’ll receive great reward and incomprehensible peace.

With a centered frame of mind and a humble, but positive attitude, your future will arise out of the ashes from any challenge, any setback, any hurt like a glorious and fiery Phoenix. How do I know? I know because I’ve been there, done that and my Phoenix is soaring. Yours can too!

Have you had setbacks and challenges, both personal and professional, that you thought marked the end of your dreams? How did it turn out?

 

Image credits: may-jun dot com, 1stwebdesigner dot com

About Samantha Gluck

Not only am I the chief editor of this multi-author online magazine, I'm a content creator and social media marketing strategist with a background in journalism, finance, & healthcare. I began my content marketing agency, All Media Freelance, LLC, in 2010 and lead a well-rounded, talented team of multi-channel content strategists and niche writers. I've developed and managed print and digital content projects for health care, fitness, financial services, mental health, non-profit, and automotive publishers, as well as for biotechnology brands.

Comments

  1. Samantha I really loved this post. I think sometimes we get too busy to practice self-awareness but we should really make time for it as well as remember what we are thankful for. I think my dreams have changed several times over the years. I think once you hit a plateau you may be ready for another adventure. (I know at I am that way).
    Lisa recently posted..Emails Are Alive, Kicking and Making SalesMy Profile

    • Thanks for sharing, Lisa. Yes, I think our paths and destinies have many bifurcations. Our roads lead to a “Y”, we choose right or left and follow it until another “Y” or even a “W” shows up on our path.

      The choices make us soar (even the ones that weren’t so great) because they teach us critical lessons and help us grow into the people G-d meant us to be.

      I feel like my dreams keep expanding and becoming larger than before. Sometimes the growth and expansion seems to “grow” me away from a certain path, but when I look back on it, I realize it’s just a different part of the big picture that is my life.

      I know I’m grateful that my path caused me to meet you and get to know what a wonderful person you are, Lisa.

  2. Great post… I’ve had challenges and setbacks up the wazoo!

    The first challenge and setback I had was moving back to my home state in 2010. I was not a happy camper about it. A part of me wishes I would have stayed where I was, figured it out and started a blog about my journey. Perhaps, my story would have attracted a literary agent. But I had two cats and couldn’t give them to an animal shelter. So… I took the ‘easy way’ out and accepted my mom’s help to move back. I “won’t” do that again.

    The only good thing about coming back is that I’ve filled Evernote, a notebook and Notepad with fiction and non-fiction ideas such as articles on family, personal development and parenting in the 21st century; YA; screenplay; and more.

    Another benefit was I learned to set stronger boundaries with people. This cost me some family connections, but they weren’t that important or strong to begin with. And you better believe I learned that people want to keep you where you’re at because it makes them feel safe. When I moved over 2,000 miles in 2007, I ruffled a few feathers. I now know it’s because people are afraid to take risks, and some adult children can’t live far away from their mommies and daddies. Not me! I’m the epitome of the independent woman. That’s how I was raised. :)

    A second benefit was being hired by a local client who has connections to Hollywood. This client hired me to co-write/ghost write a screenplay. It’s been a lot of work, and I’ve had to get out of my comfort zone because the screenplay is a director’s script filled with angles and shots. Normally, you write a writer’s script because a director will have a vision for angles and shots. I’m affirming the screenplay is sold for millions of dollars, and I attract more writing clients (Ideal Clients) and projects (Ideal Projects).

    I’ve learned that sometimes you have to go backwards in order to move forwards. It hasn’t been an easy lesson to learn. ;-)

    • Hi Amandah,

      Thank you so much for sharing your lessons. And, yes, those are all hard lessons to learn. I’ve learned the family boundaries thing. It’s been a Godsend – truly. You’re right — sometimes moving backwards eventually takes you forward in a big way. That’s what I’ve found, at least. All my setbacks and challenges have served to teach me valuable lessons and to, ultimately, guide me to even greater success.

      Such a pleasure to have met you, Amandah. Thank you so much for stopping by.

      • Thanks Samantha! I need to write a book about my life lessons. Maybe they’ll have teenagers and young adults avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made.

        It’s been great to meet you too. :)

  3. I believe it’s best not to look back. However, when life throws at you “invitations” to the past, you ought to face them.
    I wish I knew what was right to do when I left home to go to the university.
    Plenty of broken paths and unfinished mosaics.
    But it doesn’t really matter once you finally find your way.
    Beautiful post Samantha.

    • Thanks, Magda! As you know, I usually don’t write about all things inspiration — I leave that to the likes of you, but reading Erin’s post inspired me in such a way that I just had to write it. You’re right, it doesn’t really matter what’s happened in the past once your true path becomes clear. I would never suggest “looking back” is healthy, but I do think remembering the past (without dwelling on it in negative ways) helps us to put the pieces of our life puzzle together. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve missed you, Magda. XO

  4. Thank you so much for this post! I am more than motivated upon reading this inspirational masterpiece Samantha. As a newbie in the blogosphere, hoping sometimes to be recognized as a writer and blogger, it’s hurting, discouraging, a setback, to find, almost 2 years to accomplished nothing…

    But actually, my dreams are not broken (You said that and I believe You) – am just lost for some reasons! And today, I am alive and kicking again to find my inspiration to fuel me up once more! I was dead in blogging months back, no friends – but here I am again!

    Great news to me Samantha!
    Prime Aque recently posted..How to Get More Blog Traffic – Join TriberrMy Profile

    • Wonderful to have you, Prime. I hope to see you here often and also will make a habit of visiting your blog. It has so much amazing information. I love the how-to format. You’ve got WAY more Facebook friends than we do — over 2,000! You ROCK! I’m glad my article could lift your spirits and reignite your motivation. I don’t usually write posts like that. I leave those to my Italian Dream Troopers team member, Magda, or to Gib Goff (who is the creative guy on our Dream Team). But I was inspired by my friend, Erin’s post about getting lost and felt compelled to write it.

      No dreams are ever broken, just lost. You’ll find your way. My advice? Keep on doing what you’re doing, pray, and listen for the small still voice to give you guidance.

      The great Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never, never, never give up.” I think of the speech in which he uttered that quote each time I feel like throwing in the towel on any of my activities.

      XO

      Samantha

  5. I will never never never never give up Samantha. At least I will remember that everyday, especially when I am tested how dedicated I am… At the time being am working, blogging and a student… and you know, it’s hard. It’s hard to go back to school after 3 years, this post just lifted me up. It’s not just about writing my blog post, this is about how I cope up with my dreams in general.

    I have a lot of it. Sometimes I need to choose which one I will going to work with… but blogging, my job and studies – I cannot give it up.

    Anyway, I love to write how to formats, specially those I personally applied, I hope I can have more time writing more. And your visit to my blog means a lot Samantha!

    See you.
    Prime Aque
    Prime Aque recently posted..Rebuild Your Path – a Way to Better BloggingMy Profile

  6. Love this, Samantha! I’m always telling my students that the best way to get ideas is to observe, and just as you say, to be quiet and watch what’s going on. I think the reason I keep telling them is because I need to remember to do it myself! When I look back on times I’ve gotten lost, it is often from a lack of confidence in myself–I’ve got lots of missed opportunities in my past because of it. Thanks for a great post!
    Charlotte Rains Dixon recently posted..Are You a Big Picture or a Little Picture Writer?My Profile

    • Hi Charlotte! I’m so glad you liked my musings here. As you know, it’s quite a departure from my usual fare here on FWD. I felt inspired by many people the day I wrote this. The people I happened to cross paths with that day were amazingly robust individuals who had persevered and overcome immense hardship and challenges. It’s how I try to live my life — optimistically with a ready smile for all who need it. I think it’s the willingness to smile at the stranger that has gotten me thus far with happiness and so many blessings. I’m blessed to have you visit my site and share your insights and wisdom with my readers and me. ~Samantha

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