Robert Frost once said, "I took the road less traveled and it has made all the difference." Map makers are not afraid to take the road less traveled as well. Often, at some point on the road of discovery, they realize they've failed. But they've learned to make one important distinction, just because you fail, doesn't mean you're a failure.
Like the Lewis and Clark Expedition, a map maker is someone who journey s where he/she has never been before. Map makers are not afraid to journey where no one has been before them. They know that to "create their own reality" the path they choose must be their path and no one else's.
In May of 1804, Lewis and Clark embarked from St. Louis on what was to become the most dangerous expedition in American history. Their mission was to explore and follow the Columbia River to its source, the Pacific Ocean. This mission would result in discovering what became known as the Pacific Passage.
They returned to St. Louis in September of 1806, successfully navigating the rough and dangerous terrain to report that they had in fact found the route to the Pacific. This expedition came with a high cost to the well being and lives of the many men who were a part of the expedition. Some men died as a result of illness, others perished from treacherous descents and climbing accidents.
At times they would travel weeks and hundred of miles in a westerly route, only to be turned back by a 500 foot precipice that could not be navigated. Countless times, provisions, serious injury or lost lives were the price they paid to achieve their destination.
A map maker knows that to fulfill their dream, the path they must embark on is not always the shortest distance between two points. Like each of us in our lives, Lewis and Clark did not have the luxury of someone before them leaving a trail or true compass to reach their destination unscathed. The only way that they were going to achieve their goal was to move forward each and every day in pursuit of their dream, not knowing when or where they were going to make a mistake but knowing that inevitably, they would.
It took great courage and stamina to push on day after day, week after week not knowing if the decision they had made that day or the direction they were pointed in was correct. This is true for each and everyone of us in our lives as well. I remember a quote I once read that said, "If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere."
It's this lack of certainty that stops so many of us from pursuing our dream and discovering our passion. As spiritual beings, we are all born explorers, constantly looking to discover what we do not know and yearn to, yet fearful of letting go of what we do know and have. Each of us is here for a sole purpose and it is our responsibility to create and live that purpose.
No one approached Lewis and Clark and dropped the map to the Pacific Passage in their hands; just as no one is going to approach you and hand you your dream or passion. They had to discover it for themselves, as do each and everyone of us. Although the expedition experienced pain and suffering on the path, the joy and honor comes in the journey, not the destination.
The journey calls up in each of us a level of spirit and strength that we never knew we had. We are reborn into a world of great hope, faith and courage and these become our true compass in life. Each of us will get lost, many will fall down but it is the power of belief in oneself and the power of the unknown that beckons to our spirit to push onward, to remain committed to the creation of our passion and the discovery of our purpose.
You will feel your self-esteem soar and your self-image will take on new heights of self-love and confidence that you never dreamt possible. You are a map maker! Lao-tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first step." For the map maker, each step is a creation, each day is a new beginning and each day offers the potential of unlimited possibility.
To awaken the sleeping spirit within you must become "a map maker." A map maker is about the joy of discovery, the creation of positive energy; it's about an intention of hope and faith so powerful that you will not fear the possibility of failing. Yes, you may fail but to pursue your dream, your passion, one must totally believe in oneself and remember "I may fail but I am not a failure."
There is no fear in change, only the fear that you create in your mind. Remember that fear and doubt, can not coexist with hope and courage. Map makers experience fear but they carry their sense of hope and courage with them in their heart. The passions of the heart are more powerful than the fears of the mind. With God's grace, you will find the faith and perseverance you need to continue on your quest.
It may be a simple quest such as improving your self-esteem, increasing your self-confidence or finding the courage to search for a better job. Then again, it may be a major challenge such as overcoming an addiction, discovering well-being in your life by ceasing to be obese or committing to a relationship despite your fear of a previous failure.
My favorite quote of all time is also by Robert Frost, where he says, "there is a time for departure, even when there is no certain place to go." Honor your life by creating your own reality and living your dream. Remember that great achievement requires great risk. Take the road less traveled, your life is worth the journey!