Njia panda is the Swahili word for crossroad. Every now and then we find ourselves at a njia panda. Two opportunities arise. Too good to lose. Yet a choice must be made. Sleepless nights kick in. Pulling out of hair begins. Mental paralysis makes itself at home.
The simple truth is that there’s nothing simple about being at a crossroad in life. A big part of that is because the choice is often between what we know (read as comfort/routine) and what we don’t know but see potential in.
One of the most rewarding books that has gotten me through plenty of crossroad moments is The Art of Work by Jeff Goins. I’d like to share five pieces of advice he gives herein that spoke to me.
“What I have come to understand is that finding your purpose is more of a path than a plan. It involves twists and turns that you never expected. Ultimately, those surprises lead you to your destiny. And once you arrive at what you thought was your destination, you realize it’s only another leg in your journey.”
“What we all want is to know our time on earth has meant something. We can distract ourselves with pleasure for only so long before beginning to wonder what the point is. This means if we want true satisfaction, we have to rise above the pettiness of our own desires and do what is required of us. A calling comes when we embrace the pain, not avoid it.”
“We all have some understanding of what we’re supposed to do with our lives. We may not realize it or perhaps we lost it, but it’s there, waiting to be uncovered. What we need then is not a map but a shovel. A set of tools to start digging.”
“Nothing is wasted. No job, no task, no obstacle is useless, if we are willing to see how it can fit into our calling.”
“The truth, in spite of what we might believe about remarkable people, is that you cannot master a skill on your own. Finding your calling will not happen without the aid and assistance of others. Every story of success is, in fact, a story of community.”
Indulge me, what gets you through your crossroad moments in life? What lessons have you derived from that experience in hindsight?