Take a detour to delight!

When my cousin Connie took road trips, she stayed off the harrowing highways and busy byways. She traveled the blue roads instead—those back roads that show up as blue veins on a map.


“They are my Detours to Delight,” she once told me. “Their pace is more peaceful and their landscapes more magnificent.”


As you journey through life, do you speed straight ahead to get where you’re going, or do you take Detours to Delight once in a while?


Delight is associated with pleasure, joy, and satisfaction—feelings that encourage repeat behavior. So why wouldn’t you repeat the things that delight you as often as possible? ­


Could it be you put the have-tos in your life ahead of the want-tos, leaving you too exhausted or out of time for the want tos?


Or do you think you have to be good at what delights you? That’s false. William W. Purkey, who co-founded The International Alliance for Invitational Education with Betty Siegel, said:


“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,

 Love like you’ll never be hurt,

 Sing like there’s nobody listening,

 And live like it’s heaven on earth.” 


Purkey and Siegel introduced invitational education in schools. It intentionally summons people to realize their boundless potential. In the school of life, I think Delight also calls us to realize that boundless potential in us.


That’s because Delight has no production or performance quotas. It doesn’t impose rules to create boundaries that might stop us. And it doesn’t issue report cards that could discourage us. Delight generates feelings that encourage us to repeat delightful activities. In fact, Delight begets Delight, and in repeating it, we form a habit. 


So, here’s my challenge to you this week. Make a two-column list—the first one headed “want-tos” and the second “have-tos.” Then each day work on your own Habit of Delight by choosing one thing from your “want-to” column before you even look at your “have-tos.” We all have different things that delight us. Own yours and honor them. They are the blue roads of your life—the Detours to Delight and your limitless potential.



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