How many times have we heard, ‘It’s the journey, not the destination that counts’?
How can that be? Surely in the achievement of the goal is where our happiness dwells.
We are, for the most part, a goal driven society.
It is not hard to understand how we have become so destination obsessed.
Goals draw us toward accomplishment and that is a good thing. Much is produced through goal setting.
However we begin to believe that once we drive this, wear that, live in this neighborhood or have $X in the bank that our lives will be complete.
But is that where the real joy is waiting?
I have long tried to comprehend what was meant by the ‘journey’ statement.
I may have, finally, gotten a partial grasp.
I watched a movie called Peaceful Warrior. ( I highly recommend it)
In it a young man, Dan, is taken on a hike up into the hills.
His mentor, Socrates, has promised him ‘the secret of life’ once they arrive at their destination.
For hours they hike and climb, climb and hike all the while conversing, breathing, watching, pushing to the summit.
Laughter, anticipation, joy, weariness, and wonder, absorb the lad as they persist.
Abruptly, Socrates stops and says: “Here it is”, pointing to an ordinary rock at the young man’s feet.
“That’s it? I came all this way for a rock!?”
Bewildered, almost angry Dan questions the significance of the rock.
He learns that the rock, the destination, is of little importance.
“Oh, I never know what I’ll find on these trips.” Socrates interrupts.
”But for hours you have been walking, laughing, guessing and enjoying yourself as we journeyed,
only to be disappointed with what you found, once you ‘arrived.’”
Once we have arrived we may experience less satisfaction than we had imagined.
At times the goal itself holds little contentment, minor reward.
If we take time to reflect on the journey we find that, that is where the real joy resides.
That is where our lives are really spent, in pursuit.
Dan learned that; 'there are no ordinary moments, there is never nothing going on.'
Now, right now, is all we really have, it is a gift; It is called 'the present'.
The most significant purpose of a goal is not what we achieve, rather who we become.
Our goals help us to grow. Choose them with care.
Of course we are pleased with our accomplishments.
Yet that pleasure can be fleeting. The new-ness of 'things' quickly fades.
Our human need is to grow, develop, and become our best and then to use that growth to enrich the lives others.
Whom will you help? What charity do you want to support, what cause to champion?
Perhaps, there is your joy, your continual, growing, living, self-perpetuating delight! Service to others.
We are either growing or dying. We are designed to press forward, to become all we can become.
There is more to do. We can accomplish more, much more. There is more to give, to share. But you can't give what you don't have or share what you don't possess. Through consistent growth we can always become more, so that we may do more.
Somewhere deep inside we recognize this and that yearning, that discontent is our hearts way of saying,
‘Come on; let’s really pour it on this time.’
Those hedonists' in our society who have found fame, only to be lost in drug use, violence and things which sell the
tabloids…..they each were certain that the money, the cars, the jewelry, the celebrity, the destination was where they would find bliss.
They are baffled when they arrive to find emptiness once again and then attempt to fill the void in unhealthy ways. Sadly this path leads to an emotional black hole..
Perhaps this emptiness, this discontent, if understood, could lead to even greater achievements. We each have in us what it takes to be great in our own unique way. Our choices determine which path our Journey will follow.
So, I think I may get it, at least in part.
If we have reached a point, attained a goal, if we have arrived and it’s not as sweet as we had dreamed, maybe, just maybe your heart is saying…
”Come onnnn! You’ve got more than that. That was good, but really….”
If we desire something in this life that we have never had, we are going to have to do something we have never done.
Is it time to pursue some goals that really stretch?
Is a new adventure in your 'present'?
Is someone searching for your inspiration?
In what ways can you enjoy your journey, each day?
How will you share your 'present'?
What’s your heart saying to you?
Mine is saying:
"Keep going. Sure it's hard, I know you want to quit, but you are more than that. You don't yet see all that I have planned for us. Press on. I'll be with you all the way."
I wish, for each of you, a happy, healthy, new year of personal achievement;
A year of contribution of the Gift of You to all your fellow journeymen.
ps: 'Self sacrifice is not noble!'
Be on the watch for:
"Follow Your Heart"
Are you confused? Do you think I may be? ;-)