As a society, we are conditioned to believe the destination is the most important thing to focus on. I remember reading about and hearing people talk about the importance of the journey. Phrases like, "remember to stop and smell the roses".
I think back to a time before I really understood the difference, although I wanted to. I would force myself to stop what I was doing during busy times, and smell flowers in the garden. I would breath the beautiful smells in, and remind myself I was "stopping to smell the roses", but it just didn't give me the feeling I was expecting...something was missing....I seemed to just be going through the motion.
Several years ago, this all changed. We bought a convertible. As we were driving to our destinations, we found ourselves purposely taking the longer route, taking detours, back roads and stopping at interesting spots. It always seemed to take us longer to get to where we were going than it did in our winter vehicle which is an SUV. Not only did it take us longer, we wanted to take longer and we were not in a rush to get to the "destination". We discovered we were loving the present moment of being in the open air, smelling the smells that you don't notice inside a vehicle with the windows up and the air conditioning on. We feel the sun on our skin, we have our favorite music playing, and sing along...it's like being at an outdoor moving concert! We felt happier, more peaceful. There isn't the rush of traffic on the roads we take. It has become an important part of our life, to get away from the "norm", and just go for a drive. We often don't have a destination....we just want to experience that journey and the feeling it brings us. It has been the best teacher of being in the present moment and enjoying the journey I have found. It gave me that "feeling" I had been searching for, for years.
Stress develops when you are outside of the present moment...focused on pushing towards the end result and attempting to force the outcome.
The journey is....
Where you learn, where you grow, where you discover new things and gain new distinctions, where you notice things, where you gain the enjoyment of reaching the "destination"....
I have learned the journey is actually where the destination IS! It is the opposite of what I used to believe. The "spot" to where we are going is meaningless if we have not enjoyed the journey to get there. The fulfillment and happiness happens as a result of the actual journey, and when you really "get" this concept, it just makes the "spot" you are going to that much more enjoyable when you arrive. You feel an inner contentment you just can't describe.
If you haven't been able to really experience this concept of enjoying the journey, I encourage you to rent a convertible for a day or a weekend and just drive....it's a powerful experience of how to live life.
As published on LI: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-more-important-destination-journey-debbie-ruston
Debbie Ruston has been an entrepreneur and trainer since 1986. She works with individuals, and groups interested in developing their entrepreneurial leadership mindset. Was this article of value to you? Feel free to share it on your social networks and with your contacts, join in the discussion below, and FOLLOW her on the top right corner of this page.
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Debbie Ruston - Entrepreneur - International Trainer, Visionary Leader