Pilgrims Progress and My Journey
This week I am reflecting on my journey through life as we launch our new business website. How have I come from a 16 year old girl walking out of school with a handful of qualifications, to be a wife, mother and a business woman, living in one of the most beautiful parts of the country? How have my dreams and aspirations led me to this point and where will they lead me next?
On 11th November 1620 the Pilgrims landed at Cape Cod in North America. In November 1621 the same Pilgrims, those who survived, celebrated their first Thanksgiving in celebration of the harvest.
Reflecting on their story today it seems truly amazing that a relatively small group should take such a leap into the unknown, leaving their homes, families and friends, gambling that the New World would offer them and their children a better future.
Today we are all aware of the thousands of people fleeing conflict and hardship also seeking a better future in what for them are the new worlds.
Those of us enjoying life in a relatively stable environment perhaps find it easier to understand the flight from danger than we do a leap into the unknown. When we are in a comfort zone, even when we are feeling unhealthy, unhappy or unfulfilled, the thought of taking a risk to follow our dreams can seem overwhelming. The financial, emotional and relationship issues may be considerable. Sometimes, we may actually feel guilty for wanting more or looking for something different. The notion of "What have I got to complain about? There are people far worse off than me" is a typical refrain I hear from family, friends, customers and colleagues.
It is a natural human instinct to consistently seek to improve our lives. The Maslow model defines the hierarchy of needs from the basics of physical requirements of food and water to the ultimate of self actualisation - the realization or fulfilment of one's talents and potentialities. So, far from feeling guilty about our dreams and aspirations, don't we have an obligation to strive to be the best we can be and make a positive difference in the world?
We can make a start by embracing our dreams and aspirations. We can then set out our goals and equip ourselves for the journey. And that includes knowing the risks and taking the risks. We know the journey will have ups and downs, cul-de-sacs, trips and falls, near misses, and at some point we may even suffer injury. But, we will make progress, we will have fun, and we will grow. What's the alternative? To stay where we are and regret not taking the leap.
In all honesty, I don't really know if our new business venture will be a success, however passionately I believe in it, but I would rather try and fail, than regret not trying at all. However, I do have faith and confidence that this time next year, like the pilgrims, I will be giving thanks. I have taken the leap.