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The Personal Journey

Life is a journey full of choices

None of us can coast to a mountain top. We must work, struggle, and climb. The same is true for having a great life. We won't get there by accident or without effort. If we make good choices along life's path, we are likely to have a successful journey.

Download the Personal Journey Map

Drawing of flowersEnjoy today. [Guide]
In the hike of life, we can focus on the obstacles along the trail or the beauty that surrounds us. Those who find the beauty in daily life travel well. What beauty have you experienced today?



Drawing of streamFind the gems in your past. [Guide]
Anyone who wants to find a gem must be willing to search for it. Likewise, we find treasures in our life stories when we are willing to dig through challenges and disappointments to find them. Those who find and cherish the gems in their past are those who live the best lives. What are some of the gems you have found along life's path?


Drawing of bird's nestLook forward to tomorrow. [Guide]
People who are excited and hopeful about the future are likely to have better journeys. Hikers who look for and expect to find good things usually do find good things. Who knows what great things will happen tomorrow! When anxiety and fear tempt you, how will you stay hopeful about life's possibilities?



Drawing of a pair of shoesUse your strengths. [Guide]
Each person has strengths and weaknesses. The greatest joy and progress come from using our strengths while managing our weaknesses. We discover our strengths by noticing why we love to do-those things that challenge us and get us so engaged that we lose track of time. What are your greatest strengths? How will you use them?


Drawing of a lanternChoose to serve. [Guide]
When we focus primarily on ourselves, our view of the world is narrow and limited. As we turn more energy and attention to helping others, the meaning and satisfaction of our own lives expand. There are countless places and ways we can serve others. What will you do to make the world a better place?



Drawing of a man sitting outside reading a bookChoose to grow. [Guide]
Growth is the surest sign of progress in life. Seeking new ideas, experiences, and projects helps us grow and enjoy our journey. How will you cultivate personal growth?



Drawing of a compassDon't forget your compass.
Each of us is equipped with a personal compass - or conscience - to guide us along life's journey. Conscience is the peaceful voice inside of us that invites us to be compassionate, kind, and honorable. When we ignore the compass, we get lost. When we use our compass well, our journey will be richer and more meaningful. How will you better follow your compass?


You'll be making many choices along your personal journey. You can make your personal journey more enjoyable and productive by taking time to think about, write about and act on the above ideas. Pick the ideas that are most meaningful to you and write your thoughts down. Use the guides to help you along your way. You may choose to write in your own journal or you may print off the custom Personal Journey Journal Page. Have a great journey!"

Personal Journey Journal Page 

For printed copies of this publication and more information, please contact your local county Cooperative Extension Service agent.

Authors: H. Wallace Goddard, PhD and James P. Marshall, PhD

Contributors: Steven A. Dennis, Traci Johnston, Sherry Roe, Lindsey Sexton, Katy Randall, and Jennie Hubbard

Artist: C. Bruce Dupree

Resources for Trainers

The Personal Journey lesson guide

The Personal Journey evaluation instrument