At the end of 2020, my husband and I took a trip to Moab, UT. During the trip, we did a lot of hiking, taking in the area’s amazing scenery.
If you’ve ever been hiking, you know that there’s plenty of time for quiet reflection. This was very true of our hike to see the Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. Not only is it majestic enough to be featured on the Utah license plate, but part of its appeal also comes from the fact that it’s not easy to get to. The hike is long, the path is steep and very narrow on the rim of a canyon, and seemingly is never-ending. Toward the end of the hike, every turn in the path tricks you into thinking you’ve finally arrived, only to realize you haven’t. But it’s worth every step when you come around the final bend to see it there in all its glory!
This hike reminded me that we are often in the midst of very difficult decisions or seasons in life and leadership. The journey isn’t easy. We aren’t quite sure if we’re nearing the end or only just going around another bend. Some people respond by NOT going on the journey. They drop their pack and stay stuck essentially. Others grind through it, one foot in front of the other, determined to get there by any means possible. These people may be the most efficient and arrive before everyone else, but at what cost? But then some understand that when the path is difficult, it’s important to stop every once in a while and simply PAUSE. Below are three advantages of the pause.
Looking back to where you started and appreciating the view afforded from this vantage point is huge in life and leadership. How many times have we grown our understanding in a situation by simply being willing to look from a different perspective? It doesn’t necessarily change the destination but sure makes the trip richer. Appreciating where we have come from can be very encouraging and exactly what’s needed to keep going, reinvigorated.
Pausing allows for needed corrections. Do I sidestep this obstacle in the path or go over it? Do I veer to the left around this boulder or follow the path? These corrections are often nuanced and seemingly insignificant in the moment but they allow for increased intentionality that otherwise would be missed. Remember the perspective we talked about? Well, this is a great spot to bring what was learned and appreciated into the forefront.
Celebrate the Journey
We are wired for the conclusion of just about anything. To celebrate the destination and not the journey. But that sets us up for disappointment too often because most of life is done in the middle – the journey. Thoughtful, deliberate steps, regardless of the season or the decision, we show our teams what matters MOST. HOW we get there matters and is just as important as actually getting there.
So, the next time you find yourself in a season or decision that is difficult, practice the pause and take in the view!
Cheers to the journey!