It’s About the Journey, not the Destination

Hello again,

I’ve really begun to notice a particular pattern in my writing on this blog. In my thinking itself. I always seem to write about destinations. Ending points in learning or acceptance or the like. A finale of some sort. I see myself envisioning that sometimes, and thus it has been translated in my writing.

Awards Mark an End, Beginning

Ooooh is that for me? (Photo credit: DVIDSHUB)

I find myself almost romanticizing the “end” of the journey/journeys that we go on. There are many, and some are difficult. On those paths, I hope to have some sort of great prize awaiting my arrival. The truth, though, is that life is not really so much about the destination, the ending place one arrives at, as it is about the pathway and experiences one takes away from the whole thing.

Look at your life. Doesn’t the vast majority of it seem to be ‘on the way to somewhere’? It’s always another climb, another great distance to cross. We look only at the horizon where we hope to eventually be, and never at the ground beneath our feet, a place that deserves more of your attentionthan anything. Because it doesn’t just end. The path you just took leads to a hundred more, as the process of discovery is not a short one.

Road to Denali - Mountains - Alaska

That mountain up ahead? One might see it as the final destination of their journey, but in reality, it’s just another part of the journey itself. (Photo credit: blmiers2)

Those that look back on their lives and regret not doing more are the people that had their eyes glued on the horizon and nothing else.

Doesn’t it always seem as though the road you’re currently on is just a never-ending lane of endlessness? Sometimes that’s just exactly what it is. I’m not saying nothing ever changes nor am I saying that that single road will stretch on forever onto the very edges of our universe. I’m saying that you’re always on some sort of road, and that cycle of roads never ends. It explains the sometimes painful monotony we all come up against. I don’t see how growth can ever have a final point. I don’t believe true “perfection” can ever be achieved as long as we’re human. It’s something that frankly doesn’t exist for us. Thus, I do not think that those thoughts deserve their space in our collective minds.

Destination Unknown

I don’t know where exactly I’m going right now. Maybe I never will. But I’m not going to let my expectations limit the possibilities of what can be. (Photo credit: VinothChandar)

We like to have a point, an exact location where we can set our minds up for expectation. Results of some kind, whatever kind we imagine up and settle on. It’s a closed minded way of living. It’s that kind of mentality that can ruin the experience of the whole adventure.

To learn about what life is all about, it’s meaning to you, a shift in mindset has to be made. No longer can we march through life with all our focus on the reward perched at the ‘end’ of the road. We rush through far too often, attention on the things that don’t feed our souls. Living like that leads only to the unhappiness that is so apparent in our world today.

Instead, I believe our attention and energy should be concentrated on the journey of exploration and discovery, of mistakes and learning. That is where the true rewards, the truly important pieces of life lie.

It’s not about getting there, it’s not about how quickly one can arrive. It’s about what you take away from your experiences on the way there. Growth and learning has no limit. It’s about the journey, not the destination.

–mrprose

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16 thoughts on “It’s About the Journey, not the Destination

  1. Very nice post… you are indeed right. The journey always matters more than the destination. In fact I don’t think life actually has a destination… it’s just a journey without a specific destination. If it had a destination, then what should we do once we reach that destination? There would be nothing to do. The whole thrill of life comes from the fact that there is no destination to reach. Very nice post indeed, I found it very interesting and eye-opening to read!

  2. We are conditioned to “keep your eyes on the prize” and therefore we might miss better things along the way. Thanks for posting my “related article.”

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  4. This is a lesson that am just now beginning to learn. I am very goal driven and I have been focused on the destination for a long time. This hasn’t helped me reach my destination any faster, mind you. It has only left me frustrated. So I am now trying to enjoy the journey, and focus on growth and development, rather than being obsessed with the destination. Thank you for this reminder.

    • I’m glad you’ve begun to make the switch in perspective on life. To be perfectly honest, I’m in the same boat – I’ve just begun to shift my perspective and truly understand where the real importance in life is, for me. I too am a very goal-driven person, so it’s a struggle sometimes.

      Thank you for reading.

  5. Really great post Mr Prose, I’m really enjoying reading your blog. You write so beautifully. This post makes me think of what is fast becoming one of my favourite quotes, which I saw on the front of a greeting card, and something I’ve shared with a few friends who are feeling somewhat lost on their journey:

    “For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, or a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment that you have and remember that time waits for no one. Happiness is a journey – not a destination.” – Alfred D’Souza

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  7. Each Sunday, my wife and pick somewhere locally to drive to. When considering our final stopping point, we rarely give much weight to the actual destination. What we will witness along the route, is HUGE.

    We are very fortunate to live in a spectacular area of California. Some weeks we want to see desert, so we drive east. Sometimes we want to witness rugged grandure, so we head north to Big Sur. Every once in a while, we want to appreciate home…so we pick a southern destination.

    Most people would pick a destination, choose the quickest route, and do a couple MPH over the speed limit. Not us. It’s about setting the cruise control on “Grandpa Speed”, taking as many scenic pull-outs, and burning a few Gig of memory in our cameras.

    Life goes to fast. We all need to take a moment to slow down, look up, and take in the beauty that surrounds us. -V

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