I end many of my articles with the saying, “Isn’t it all about what we learn on the journey than what’s at the end of the road? But many of us are so busy frantically trying to get to the end of the road or “there”, that we totally miss the journey. Wherever “there” is for you could be related to your financial, emotional, spiritual or physical goals. I hear so many people say the following things about getting “there”.
“When I’m making x dollars, then I’ll be successful and happy.”
“When I lose x pounds, then I’ll be attractive and find someone to love me.”
“When I find God (or whatever spiritual figure you believe in, if any), then I will have peace and comfort.”
“When my career takes off and I get that position, then I’ll have made it.”
“When I find someone to share my life with, then I’ll be content.”
I am guilty as well of saying the same things to myself. We all do it. But what I’ve come to realize, and then sometimes forget, is that there is no “there”. It doesn’t exist. Because when you finally get “there” in one area of your life, you’ll just create a new “there” that is farther out of reach then the original “there”. It’s what we do.
We all act as though there is this final destination at which we can arrive and have all of our dreams come true, have millions of dollars and live completely and utterly in bliss. A place we can reach where we can be done. But we’re never done. Done is death! Retirement is a fantasy. Ask any business owner who became a millionaire and retired. It probably lasted about six months and then they started another business. The richest man in the world is still working. Why? Because he loves what he does. So if you’re still intending on getting “there”, find something that you love to do that makes driving yourself crazy worthwhile!
Enjoying the journey is a hard thing to do for many people. We’re so consumed with figuring out how we’re going to get there, what is it going to take, how much is it going to cost, how much money we’ll make, when is it going to happen. How can you possibly enjoy the process with all of these things to think and worry about? The key is allowing stillness and meditation into your life. When you quiet the mind, you are able to see the beauty in the process of where you have been, where you are now and where you are going. You may even be able to see that you have made tremendous progress towards a goal or a dream that previously was hidden to you because you were so caught up in the day to day minutia of getting there. This is when it becomes critical for you to stop and smell the flowers, so to speak. If you are not able to see the progress, you will become frustrated and critical of yourself for not accomplishing your goal fast enough. Taking the time to meditate and be quiet will allow you to see the bigger picture and feel good about how far you have come.
For me, a great experience was taking a three day silent retreat. Not only did it help to ground me and open me up to new possibilities and visions for my life, but it created the space for me to really examine how far I had come in the last few years. I was able to acknowledge my accomplishments and I felt really good about where I was on the journey. The clarity and insight that I received after all the distractions fell away was priceless. Don’t wait until most of your life has passed by to start enjoying the journey. It’s all part of the grand scheme of why we each are here in this lifetime.