You’ve heard of this before, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
So why is it important to be in the moment and enjoy the journey?
It’s because when we worry and stress out about the next thing or something that’s already happened, we don’t appreciate the wonders of the present. We miss the experience itself while living in our heads.
Living in our heads means we focus on thinking about something that isn’t occurring right before us. We avoid experiencing the life we are actually in right now. Of course, it’s perfectly fine to think fondly of the past or get excited about the future. It’s also perfectly fine, and even advised, to think of something else if what is happening to us is too unpleasant (such as getting a root canal).
But let’s not forget to live life as it’s happening now whenever we can, wherever we are.
Here’s an example of living in your head and only focusing on the destination:
You’ve been planning for weeks to take your family to the beach and enjoy the sun and water. You pack up everything and haul everyone in the car, and off you go. You get there and settle in, while the kids excitedly run toward the water. Then you find yourself you sitting on the beach thinking about your awful co-worker, how you’re going to pay the bills, and the lab results from your blood test.
It isn’t until you arrive back at home that you feel you missed out on the whole trip because you were so busy worrying — or screaming at the kids instead of playing with them.
What does this tell you? That the destination, going to the beach, is really experienced momentarily. The actual experience of arriving at the beach is quickly forgotten. You’re on to the next thing which is to find a good spot to unpack and roll out the beach mat. And once you do that, your mind searches for the next thing to figure out. And it keeps doing it until you are distracted by something else you have to do.
Remember when you couldn’t wait to buy that item you saw in the store? When you got what you wanted, how long was it before it no longer gave you that thrill? Probably not long after, because you were probably already thinking about the next thing.
Also, when you strive toward a goal, your arrival is sometimes experienced so gradually that you don’t know when to celebrate. Slowly healing from an illness, quitting smoking, and building a business are examples when progress is slow and setbacks occur.
That is why, like they say, it is about the journey. The journey itself, not the goal, is really what you’re experiencing ALL of the time. Life’s journey is but a series of moments all strung together. What lights fire under your arse to move forward is the enticing bait you concoct in your head, dangling in front of you.
In this journey, there is no way you can avoid unwanted circumstances or situations. Life is not going to give you everything you need and want all the time.
The journey of life can be experienced in so many ways! The travel agent of life asks you, “What type of journey do you want to tour?”
You see, sometime in the future, our time on earth will be over. What can you do to make all the struggles and stress that’s in it worthwhile?