24 Jun Leadership & Entrepreneurship in Ireland – Day Ten

It’s still the weekend, and we traveled from Mayo, through Sligo and Donegal to Derry.  Here in Derry we took a tour and received an extremely thought-provoking viewpoint of The Troubles.   The tour guide’s experience in prison got me thinking about crucibles as a “place or occasion of severe test or trial.”

Most of us won’t be tested in prison, but his experience made me think how many people are looking for life-changing experiences to create epiphanies.  I think these same people fail to realize that most life-altering experiences are also a “place or occasion of severe test or trial.”  Keep in mind a crucible is “a container in which metals are subjected to very high temperatures” so that they are literally changed.

Why do we see an experience as necessary to change our perspective, or have an epiphany?  The act of traveling isn’t what provides new insight.  Traveling removes us from routine where we can examine from a different angle our own personal values, beliefs, assumptions, expectations, prejudices, biases, strengths, weaknesses, and place in the world.

In other words, traveling can help us form the tough questions we need to answer.  But once answered, we must have the courage to answer them… and act.  Do we need to wait for travel to conjure up these questions and confront the brutal facts, or do we just need solitude?

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