Do you think the best bit about life is when we achieve our goals, when we get what it is we set our hearts on, “arriving” at the end destination and revelling in the result we aimed for?
Do you think the best bit about life is the journey we took to get there?
I suppose it depends on how you look at things. Naturally, most of the time, getting ‘there’ feels better to us; it’s the time when you can sit back and relax, looking at what you’ve achieved and feel good, without any more effort, tension, worry, stress, wondering, striving, working. You’re there, it’s done! This is the easy bit. Bask in the goodness! I used to think this was the best bit of life, if I looked at it from a purely hedonistic point of view.
Imagine if the reason we are here (alive, on Earth, arriving-living-dying) is that we are here to evolve our souls and contribute to the planet, and we do so through personally expanding/growing during the journeys we set for ourselves. The end bit of getting ‘there’ (wherever you think you are headed) is awesome, there’s no doubt that achieving goals and dreams is fantastic!
But the golden moments, from a much bigger perspective, actually happen along the way in terms of really overcoming obstacles, really increasing our capacity and our understanding, pushing our boundaries, feeling new things, trying new things, putting ourselves out there along the way to the destination we have in mind.
It’s took me 30+ years to figure out that this is true and moreover that it's the key to living a peaceful, free and successful life at all levels, in balance. For most of my life I was pretty much as impatient as they come. Once the destination was set, my GPS was on, I zoned in like one of those target seeking missile radar things you see in top gun planes and I was like a one woman mission control until I achieved my goals. I never really stopped to realise there was anything good along the way, in fact I think I related to the process of getting ‘there’ as one giant pain the in ass because I’d have rather just been there NOW!
Then I woke up.
I realised there is no “there”, in fact there is only NOW and the joy of our lives happens in the all the moments of growth as we venture forward in our own evolution. The joy comes from really revelling in the process of creating our lives. Looking at some of the hurdles I’ve had to jump in the last few years, and what appeared to be treacherous sheer mountain cliffs to traverse (metaphorical speak for taking some huge risks), I saw for the first time that the whole point of getting ‘there’ is to learn along the way. Enjoying the process of getting there makes life a whole lot more fun and fulfilling. Really… stuffed if I want to spend the rest of my life slogging my guts out towards end goals so I can have brief, fleeting moments of glory and fulfilment at the very end. That is not what life is about! The feeling of fulfilment we all seek, from achieving “success”, is actually available to us every day, throughout the journey.
Now I always look for what I am learning in the process of creating my goals and dreams, enjoying the moments of whatever I’m doing, as well as getting into the anticipation of what’s coming next.
The journey feels exciting, creative, and most importantly…. whole and complete on its own, regardless of any outcome. The unknown factor of what is around the corner, what challenges might arise, how will I get to my desired destination, this all creates suspense and opportunity to explore. That suspense is fun, if you let it be… alternatively it can be painful if you fall into thinking that where you are now is wrong, and where you need to be can't happen soon enough! It's all about your perspective.
Surrendering the need to get there NOW, and realising that it's actually about the life journey to the destination, not just the destination, is when life changes. In this space, things flow to you more readily and your experience of life is so much more peaceful, free and joyful.
With love, Bernadette