The Human Journey

By Linda Fisher Thornton

“In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Dr. Dweck) says, “A growth mindset is not something you declare, it’s a really difficult journey you take over a long period of time.”

Tina Curry-Logan, Growth Mindset: Shift Your Perspective to Achieve More, Thrive Global

The human journey. We’re all taking it, but we don’t always know where it’s headed. We can’t always see where we’ve been until later, when we have the long-term perspective and can begin to make sense of the twists and turns we’ve taken throughout our lives.

Looking back on my own twists and turns, I can identify some personal tools that have helped on my journey. These important tools for the journey are free but must be nurtured. They are readily available but must be accessed. They are priceless but we must see their value.

Curiosity – What’s around the next bend?

Wonder – There is beauty around us when we stop to notice.

Gratitude – Give thanks for what we have.

Hopefulness – There are better days ahead.

Connection – The journey is lighter when we share it.

Commitment – Embrace it as an important journey worth taking.

Creativity – There is not only one path.

Persistence – Challenges can be overcome or turned into opportunities.

Imagination – Imagine a better road ahead.

Endurance – Focus on the present but also be committed to the long term journey.

Serenity – I can’t control it, but I can adapt and choose my response.

Authenticity – Get past ego and self-interest to become an authentic person and leader.

Which of these important assets have you already packed for your journey?

Reaching a desired destination according to an expected timetable isn’t what gives us a sense that we have a meaningful life. It’s the journey itself. Using our abilities in service to others. Chasing the elusive “best we can be” as the world expects more and we race to keep up. 

The journey to being human is not just about getting through the challenges life throws at us. It’s about growing into our best. After reflecting on my definition of “The Meaning of Life” for an Excellence Reporter series, I realized that this process of growth is much more than just something that happens while we’re dealing with our challenges – it’s what helps us find meaning and have a positive impact. 

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