Those who follow this blog or my books and audios know I am very much an advocate of using dictionaries, especially online ones. For me, they clarify not only the meaning but the purpose of words I choose to use. For detour, the definitions include:
A long or roundabout route taken to avoid something or to visit somewhere along the way. The act of going or traveling to a place along a way that is different from the planned or usual way. A deviation from a direct course or the usual procedure.
I especially like the term, “roundabout route.” I have certainly taken some of those during my path from there to here. How about you? Sometimes a sudden unexpected detour knocks us for a loop, puts us off our stride–and can even derail us from our true path and purpose, if we let it.
A vital factor in the lives of those who achieve the greatest successes, the most prosperity, the most peak performances and major impacts on the world is their ability to perceive detours as temporary setbacks. And even to use them as positive reinforcement to their purpose and desire on the way to their aspirational destinations.
I suppose my biggest detour in life was my 12 years in prison. I write about how I used this as a positive event in my life in the Introduction to MoneyLove 3.0, and eventually plan to write a memoir that is funny and inspiring about that experience.
Like most detours, the negative aspects of that were immediately obvious. My physical reality was going to be very limited and very unpleasant for 12 years. But after bemoaning that for a while, I came to realize that there was a lot more going on than those events in the outside world. Physical reality is always limited, but my internal reality was boundless, limited only by self-imposed constraints I might put on my imagination.
Our detours in life can be very short or much longer, but if we are determined to let them serve us in some positive way, we emerge back on our right and true path with greater momentum and intention than before.
Can you think of three detours in your life, events or obstacles or choices you made that took you off your path? Did you feel guilty or anxious about these circuitous routes and let them put you off your stride? Or did you look at how they might be beneficial and allow you to come back stronger and more determined than ever?