Thursday, June 11, 2009

Are We There Yet?

People often focus on the destination.
Nothing wrong with that. heading towards a goal helps us to achieve them, it motivates us...keeps us on track.
So what about the journey? What happens when the ONLY thing one focuses on is the destination?

Let's look at the example of the road-trip. You've put a big red dot on the destination, and all roads lead there. You calculate an estimate of the time it will take to get there, gather the means by which you can travel there, and work out a plan to implement the journey.

Things start out fine. That destination is all that you can think about, but it's a long trip, and keeping your eyes glued straight ahead has meant you didn't see some very cool scenery soon after you started. Oh, well. The sooner you can get there, the better, so cool views aren't really relevant anyway. The next day you set out on the second leg of the journey, and work out that if you don't make that lunchtime pit-stop, you just might shave half-an-hour off your journey. The pit-stop would have been great, because you could have relaxed, perhaps made a new friend, or even been part of some kind of great story, but your focus is all on the end result.

This goes on for another week before you finally arrive. But you've arrived worn-out, bitter about your crap journey, tired because of no down-time, frustrated with the little things like roadworks which got in your way, and you just feel like shit. Following your recovery, you begin to feel a bit jaded, because you poured so much energy and effort and frustration into getting here, and everyone seems oblivious to your efforts. This place was such a castle-in-the-sky in your mind, but in reality it's just another place...another starting point.

Your friend makes the same trip, and is excited about her destination, but she takes her time, meets people and sees places along the way. She takes it easy on the road and arrives with a myriad of stories about her trip, laughs about how long it took (twice as long as you), and takes a little time to reflect before happily exploring this new place.

Focusing on the end result only might get you there faster, but how much will you miss along the way? Is it worth losing your happiness over? Might you be so headstrong about the destination that you miss other opportunities? And if your destination itself is a state of happiness, wouldn't it be easier to simply enjoy life's journey?

Goals are great, and there's nothing like the feeling of achieving them, but if the journey sux, there's not much chance that you'll truly be able to indulge in the joy of arriving there. And once you get there, there's another goal ahead....or is that a journey? :)

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