The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery even when on a detour.

No matter how well we plan, from time to time life presents us with an unexpected detour. There are even times, despite the most thoughtful and considerate planning, that you may find yourself right back where you started.

When this happens, there’s a simple formula for turning things around … remember, it’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it. Rather than a cause for despair, such times provide an opportunity for renewed determination, re-commitment and maybe a slight detour.

Regardless whether striving to climb the next rung on the corporate ladder, embark on a new career, begin a new business, or explore an exciting opportunity… it’s imperative that we learn to value and enjoy the journey itself because it really is next-to-impossible to continually move in a straight line from here . . . to . . . there.

It is those detours that have the potential to throw us for a loop because we become so focused on getting there that we are thrown when an what appears to be a slight stumbling block or outright roadblock suddenly appears in our path.

These obstacles can appear as many different things: budget-cuts, layoffs, relocations, illness, in-laws, outlaws, realignments, accidents. It doesn’t matter how or when an obstacle arrives in your life, when the “roadblock” sign appears, the result is the same: it’s time to consult the map; your route for your journey has changed.

How we choose to view and react to unexpected circumstances is the key to thriving despite whatever challenge you may encounter in life. All that’s accomplished by seeking to place blame somewhere is wasting valuable time and undermining our own self-worth.

The direction of your journey may have been somewhat altered, but you can still make positive progress. In fact, by embracing the change and looking for the benefit in it, it is possible to turn even the most unexpected detour into an opportunity for growth, and a much more exciting and fulfilling journey than the original trip you had planned!


RE-EVALUATE YOUR PRIORITIES: You can usually recover from minor detours pretty easily by revisiting and if necessary revising the priorities and goals you established for yourself; evaluating where you are now and making any required a course correction.

But with more serious or life altering detours, your core priorities may have changed. In this case it’s important to take the time you need to work through your transition by revisiting your vision for your life plan and making realistic adjustments to your list of priorities.

AVOID PLAYING THE BLAME GAME: Far too often when we encounter a detour we end up wasting time beating ourselves up because somehow we should have predicted the problem, or we throw in the towel and just give up all together. This is where having a Plan B (or even Plan C) comes in handy. But even if you don’t have a back-up plan now, don’t give up! During times of transition it is especially important to nurture yourself … you’ll bounce back much quicker by focusing on becoming more resilient in life.

REVISIT YOUR VISION FOR THE LIFE YOU WANT TO CREATE: Even before revisiting goals, it’s critical to revisit why you started this journey in the first place. Reasons come first, answers come second. If you have a big enough vision for what you really want in life, the way to get back on track and achieve your goals will quickly become clear. And your desire will go a long way toward keeping you on track.

RECOMMIT TO YOUR GOALS AND PRIORITIES: Once you’ve reaffirmed your vision and priorities, you’ll be far less likely to spend time agonizing about what goals you should focus on next.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS: For some people tracking their progress can effectively be done with a time management system or personal organizer; others may thrive by teaming up with someone else and work on your goals together. As a writer it’s probably not surprising that my personal preference would be a journal.

Whenever you’re faced with a detour in your life’s journey, the most important thing is to not become paralyzed and giving up all the progress you’ve made to that point. Make a decision to grow through it and to become stronger than you were.

The world is looking for people who can ride out the storms of life and not sink. The stumbling blocks that you overcome may enable you to help someone else get through a detour that they face.

Author's Bio: 

Marquita Herald is a writer, entrepreneur, coach, world traveler, avid reader and blogger at IGG - Tips, Tools & Tantalizing Ideas at