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Why a Direct Route Is Never the Most Efficient

z egloff

z egloff

Have you ever had a plan?

Perhaps it was a detailed outline, with multiple steps to your goal.

Or maybe it was much simpler, like running to the store to pick up a carton of milk. (Or, these days, a carton of organic, free-range soy milk.)

And have you ever had these plans – long-range or short – tromped on by the whim of Life, a Life that seems to have Its own ideas about things are really going to go?

I know you’re saying Yes right now. All of us have had this experience.

And if you haven’t, I’d love to interview you about your home planet.

z egloff

z egloff

For the rest of us, I am here to explain – with pictures, no less – why the detours Life sends us are actually the most efficient route to our destination.

Check it out.

This is what your plan looks like:

z egloff

z egloff

Beautiful, isn’t it? So straight and simple!

But here’s what happens when you embark upon your straight-arrow journey.

z egloff

z egloff

(Shout out to Rev. Linda Reppond for the conception of this image.)

These obstacles can be really frustrating. They can range from tiny (a stubbed toe) to mammoth (the loss of a job, our health, or a partner.)

When you’re in the middle of swerving left when you thought you were going straight ahead, it can feel completely disorienting.

But here’s what I’ve found. Maybe you have too.

z egloff

z egloff

The nature of these blessings is usually most apparent in hindsight.

The end of a job that led to a closer alignment with our purpose.

The health challenge that led to invigorating changes and opportunities.

The end of a relationship that led to a deeper appreciation for love and connection.

The blessings in the so-called obstacles in our path can lead us to see that what our mind thought of as a “direct route” could have been disastrous.

z egloff

z egloff

Again, these bombs are best viewed in a rear-view mirror, with the advantage of time and perspective.

It’s a perspective that allows us to see that the job/partner/whatever we thought we wanted would have thrown us off track for days/months/years.

Thus seriously cramping our style.

And our ability to move forward.

z egloff

z egloff

The more I walk this wacky road called life, the more I’ve come to trust the placement of obstacles in my path.

Indeed, I’ve come to appreciate the invisible hand that placed the obstacles there in the first place.

Most importantly, I’ve come to appreciate the beauty of a path that has been shaped by obstacles blessings.

Straight lines are boring.

And because of the potential bombs that await if we let our human minds decide the best way to a destination, the “straight path” can actually be the most perilous.

Remember, Life knows what it’s doing.

You can trust it.

Even when you’re sure the latest obstacle in your path is a huge mistake and the one exception to this whole obstacles are actually blessings thing.

Hang in there.

Pretty soon that 20/20 rear-view vision will kick in, and you’ll be thankful for all those bombs you missed!

z egloff

z egloff

How have you been blessed by obstacles in your path? Share your comments below!

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4 Responses to Why a Direct Route Is Never the Most Efficient

  1. Karen Money Williams February 16, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    Love it — and the cartoons are wonderful.

    Was it John Lennon who said, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans?”

    • Z Egloff February 16, 2016 at 10:59 am #

      Yes, Lennon did say that. (Because I’m a nerd, I just googled the phrase and it said that the origin was decades earlier. The probable origin was a guy named Allen Saunders, but even that is not certain.) It’s SUCH a great phrase, and it totally goes along with this post. Thank you, Karen! :)

  2. River February 17, 2016 at 9:00 am #

    Hi Z,
    I’ve also noted how detours are some of the most fun experiences. However, how does one tell when it’s just an obstacle for growth and or when it is a place where we are being guided away from what we think we want so as to save us a lot of pain and misfortune for going down a path that is not in our highest and best?
    Like when does that squiggle line to a goal become a “don’t go that way”?

    • Z Egloff February 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm #

      Hi River,

      I don’t know how I missed your comment – but here I am!

      Hmmmm. I’m not sure that I totally understand your question, but here’s my attempt to answer it! :)

      In my experience, I don’t always get to know why the obstacle is there. If it’s truly an obstacle that I can do nothing about (“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change….”) then I don’t really need to know why it’s there. I just know that accepting it is going to make things easier for me – and everyone else. Then, in hindsight, I can see which “kind” of obstacle is was.

      On the other hand, if the obstacle IS something I can do something about (“Courage to change the things I can…”), then it’s up to me to make any changes needed. Being able to discern between which obstacles that need surrender and which need courage is a lifelong process. Our own intuition, and the feedback of wise others, can help us determine which is which.

      Hope that helps!!


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