When we set out to achieve something we create a target, a destination. That end game, or goal serves us when it keeps us focused. But, if we are too focused on the destination we may miss the journey. And, more importantly, we may miss the reason for the journey.
The Danger of Arriving
“You’re never going to arive, because you’re already there.”— Seth Godin
In his blog post, You’ve Arrived Seth Godin described the danger of the GPS world we live in. He challenges our need to be done – done with a project, done with a goal, even done with our purpose.
The challenge is that you never really arrive. Each destination is really just a milestone in our real journey, life. The journey is what it is all about. The destination gives us a reason to take the journey and experience life.
So, set the target. Set the goal. Set the destination. Just don’t let it get in your way.
Progress Sometimes Looks Like a Detour
“The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.”— Sir James Jeans
Once we’ve decided where we’re going, most of us want the path to be a straight line. It rarely is. Most journeys come with roadblocks, and detours, and pitstops. Those obstacles often frustrate us.
We want to avoid them, to ignore them.
We need to embrace them.
In his blog post, Report From The Trenches #1, author Stephen Pressfield describes his feelings when after fifteen months of working on a manuscript he got feedback from his editor that the manuscript needed a lot of work. It was honest feedback, necessary feedback, an obstacle that would have ended the journey for many writers.
That’s the trouble with obstacles and detours.
Being too focused on the destination may make us question if the trip is even worth it. What we need to do in those situations is to embrace the resistance.
What is it telling us?
How can we use it?
Could it be that changing our route may provide us with a better one?
According to Pressfield, the response in the moment of resistance is what “separates the pros from the amateurs. An amateur will fold, balk, become defensive, dig in their heels and refuse to alter their work. The pro experiences the disappointment, briefly. Then finds some way to move forward.
The pro continues the journey, even if it is on an altered path. Because sometimes progress looks like a detour.
Enjoy the Journey
“The key to realizing your dream is to focus not on success but significance, and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”— Oprah Winfrey
Do you have clear goals? If not, set some. Goals have the power to pull us, to provide direction for our lives.
But, once your goal is set and you’ve mapped out the trip, don’t get so caught up on the destination, that you miss the ride. You were put on this planet for a purpose. It’s your journey that fulfills that purpose.
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