I learned this week that strong leaders don’t need to know the WAY. They need to know the WHY. I learned this from my children when we lost our way.
We found ourselves down many unexpected roads recently. Whether the GPS was to blame or my navigation skills, it is hard to decipher, but the truth is, we were lost. In our profound disorientation we rediscovered why we are on this journey.
We have said numerous times, it is about the journey and not about getting there. It is a bit of a mantra that we have to repeat in order to believe sometimes. Last week, lost and tired, it became about crossing the finish line, taking the shortest path, getting there as quickly as possible and following the plan for everyone over 40 in our car!
Our children, however, are not in need of any affirmations about the joy of the journey. As twilight descended, they played tag at the rest stop, climbed trees and were enamored by the free tea station!
Ron and I were completely focused on the WAY, and every time they approached us, as we poured over maps and coordinates, we said, “We are trying to figure out WHERE we are, AND where we are headed!” Our youngest finally said, “We are HERE and the sunset is so pretty and they have all you can eat sugar cubes right over THERE!” She was right.
The reason we are on this journey is not to get across the finish line every day. It is to live deliberately every moment that we can and to spend those moments together. Once she stopped us in our tracks, we realized the path of least resistance is to remember why we are on this trip.
When we desperately focus on the WAY, the WHY takes a back seat and the journey loses its meaning and becomes a list of directions. We stopped in our tracks. We let them lead us to the sugar cube treasure chest. We played tag and got back in the car, cheeks rosy and ready for anything.
There are no wrong turns when you know the WHY, and magically the WAY reveals itself when it is not the focus. Profound for those of us over 40, but common knowledge to the kids in the back seat. Not all those who wander are lost, in fact they are worth following.