Ever been on a canoe trip? Did you just start paddling, going with the flow and discovering new places along the way? Or, did you map out the whole journey ahead of time, then followed it?
Growing up near rivers and lakes in Ontario, I was always in or on the water. Family canoe trips were endlessly exciting. The plan was never specific about where to stop. We’d just say, “Let’s go for a paddle.” And we did.
Because we knew the waterways so well, sometimes we had a set turn-around point. Other times, we would just paddle for as long as we felt like, weather and time of day permitting.
Those days were filled with wonder, exploration, and not knowing. I loved it! Even though we were well prepared and knew the course, we had no idea what we would find en route as that changed daily.
My passion for paddling a canoe led me to learn how to kayak, row, and stand up paddle board. I seek out opportunities to do all of these in my life.
Since I am a paddler, the analogy of going with the flow and being an explorer has really influenced all areas of my life. For me, the attitude of wonder and not knowing what’s ahead is a chance for discovery, where I can find out what’s beyond the next bend.
For some people, though, the “not knowing” of what lies ahead can be scary, as the journey can seem out of their control. They’d like to know what’s coming up, so they can plan for it and be prepared.
Lakes and rivers are relatively tame waters for the most part. But for some situations in life, you have to go out from shore into open waters no matter how well you’re prepared. One might relate this to graduation and starting your life as a professional.