When I was growing up, I spent a great deal of time playing with the woods with my brothers and our friends from around the neighborhood. We would spend our time building forts and carving trails through the woods for riding our bikes. We would spend day after day working on these trails and forts and exploring new areas of the woods around where we lived. I know today this concept has not died out on my kids and they like to hang out with their friends carving out trails through the woods and building forts. Seems to be a trend here.
I reflected on this today as I continue my work toward my doctoral research and completing my proposal and dissertation. After a discussion with my mentor last night, I began to reflect further on the direction I am taking with my research. One of the goals of doctoral research is to contribute new knowledge to the literature and carve out a new way of looking the research topic in a way that can have an impact on scholars and on leadership. I began to really reflect on my study in trying to figure out what would be the most impacting approach to my research.
Now, you are probably asking yourself, what does carving out trails in the woods as a kid and my research have to do with each other? It’s simple. The ultimate goal of my research is to carve out a new trail. Not to reinvent the wheel and do something that others have done in the path. To forge a new way of looking at things in a way that can have a real world impact. As a kid, we did not constantly build the same trail over and over again. No, we built new ones. We created! This same holds true in my research. My goal is to create a new pathway.
Earl Nightingale said that, “Instead of competing, all we have to do is create.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said,”Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” These quotes hold true to all parts of life. In my everyday research, I am striving to build a strong pathway built on extensive research to go somewhere completely new. In my life, I also strive to break the mold and cave out a new trail for the way I live my life. It is a matter of striving for goals I set for myself and not sitting back and waiting for someone to tell me what is the path I should take.
I have written time again about seeking God’s path for our lives. In this path, each one of us has a unique calling to His purpose. It is up to us to forge ahead and build that pathway to seek out that purpose that is before us. Each day, our walk takes on down a new road in life. We are in essence already creating a pathway and leaving that newly carved trail behind us. This is when we have decide if the pathway we take is one that is safe with a trail already carved out, or if we are forging ahead to build our own trail. Decide if you want to be trail carver or if you want to follow trails already built by others. We are all given an opportunity to carve our own way and not let others define what your are or who you are. Choose to create and go after the dreams and goals you set for yourself and achieve your God given purpose.