Don’t Love the Destination

Photo by Neringa Hünnefeld on Unsplash

When you learn to love the journey of something, you will push yourself further and last longer than the person beside you who only loves the destination. The process of actually enjoying and experiencing is more valuable than focusing on the finish line. And this comes from a culture of finish lines. Everywhere you go, from advertising to personal goals, you see the end result. Have this body to look better. Buy this makeup and end up this pretty. Find your dream job for complete happiness. And that is only a few examples.

Life is an ever-changing, powerful process that never quite ends. By investing all of our energy into the end result, we never actually satisfy ourselves in what we are doing in the present moment. It could also be why I never felt much satisfaction from completing my novel. I was never focused on the finished product, I was focused on working on it, so that a completed book was a sideline benefit. It is an accomplishment that came with the strong satisfaction of writing a book on my own. I can contrast that with many times I’ve obsessed over a goal to the point where the two days after completing it results in a short wave of sadness. There was simply too much joy and hope placed in the end achievement.

How can we as people stop obsessing over the finished product and begin to enjoy the development of the product itself? Here are a few simple ways.

1. Root yourself in each day. We live in a world that is busy, full, and complicated. It is important for us to slow down enough to enjoy the day and be grateful for the present moment. It can be a simple two minutes each morning where we mediate on the day to come, or it can be writing down 3 things we are grateful for every day for 30 days. Find a way to live rooted in each moment of each day.

2. Set aside distractions. The distractions of the digital age are most obvious, as the screens in our lives can waste so much valuable time we could spend doing something that matters to us. But besides the digital age, there are lots of things that distract us from the present moment and enjoying the process of life. They can be toxic people, work projects that don’t deserve all of our energy, or simply a cluttered mind. As you begin to set aside what is negative, the positive becomes more clear.

3. Have a five-year dream. You don’t need to have it all figured out, and you don’t always need a five-year plan, but you should know who you are becoming. It is powerful to reflect on the idea of who we want to become, so that one day we can look at how we’ve begun to become that person. You don’t become kind, generous, or grateful overnight. You must become that way, day by day, year by year. Begin to dream, not plan, about who you are becoming.

Whether it is one of these three, or another way that you find to enjoy the process of growing yourself, it does not matter. If the purpose is satisfaction throughout your life, then chasing a never-ending squirrel with goals will never get you there. When you love the journey, you love life, and you are more positive, kind, present, and satisfied.

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