I love to take walks to get coffee, although most of the time, it’s not a real coffee I get. I’ve had a rather unhealthy addiction to caffeine in my life, so I actively work on not drinking it.
My current drink of choice is instead a weak decaf almond milk latte. I get laughed at by barristers all the time even had one refuse to make it!
Sometimes, after my walk, I arrive at the cafe and realise that it wasn’t the drink itself that I was after. It was more about getting out of the house and creating a journey that I could enjoy.
It’s a small example of loving the journey, but one that got me thinking.
What’s a walk without anywhere to go?
We need a destination in order to have a journey. Yet it’s the walk itself I love, not the end point. I like to smell the flowers as I stroll. Like literally stop and smell them. I love to feel the different temperatures around me, the sun against my skin. I like to listen to all the sounds, and feel my feet as they contact the earth.
Over and over in my business life I’ve set an end point goal and then reached my destination. It’s usually a little anticlimactic. There’s a point where I feel really happy that I arrived, and then it returns back to normal. As if the achievement were like the sip of my warm decaf almond latte, and then the next couple of days are like the walk back home.
I used to feel disappointment that I couldn’t remain on the high of achievement, and then I realised that I never wanted to stay there anyway. That the best part of setting my goals and achieving them was everything that came along the way: the relationships I formed with people that helped me get there, the new clients I had gained, and how I learned things about myself I didn’t know before. Most importantly, I loved that I’d developed new qualities as I expanded and grew.
Did I stop to smell the flowers along the way? Did I notice I was blooming?
Looking back over your life, can you see how every one of your goals created a beautiful journey for you to follow, even if the goal wasn’t met? Even if you thought it was a failure?
Sometimes the best journeys are the one’s in which we think we failed, because we tend to grow more and develop resiliency. If we focus on the whole process, instead of the turnaround the point, the point at which we think we failed or succeeded, then we open to the possibility of enjoying the whole trip we’ve taken.
When we’re capable of loving the journey, then nothing is wasted. We can be unattached to the outcome knowing that the cappuccino, latte or piccolo is not the point at all. Rather it was the walk that gave us all the things to look at, to smell, and to feel.
Take a look at your life now, at the goals you have set, and ask yourself
+ are you tunnel visioned on the end point, or can you see the value of each step around you?
- can you identify three ways you’ve already grown?
- what are three ways you’ll have to grow in the future to get there?
- can you remind yourself to stay open to the whole path?
If possible, write your goal somewhere you can see it, and then put a little path beside it to remind you of al the beauty to look for along the way. All the invaluable skills you’ll learn and the ways you will grow. Remind yourself, that looking at things this way, and you’ll never have to worry about arriving anywhere.
That in fact, you are arriving anew, in every single moment.