What’s more important, the journey or the destination?

I imagine you are familiar with the saying, “it’s the journey, not the destination.” Do you agree with this sentiment?

Over the years I’ve met many, who have struggled with where to focus as they work toward their definition of success.

There are some who argue that there is no destination that life is just a journey.

There was a time when I argued that your focus needs to be on the journey as well as the destination. Thinking that a clear destination is what determines the steps you took along your journey, etc.

I had a wonderful conversation with the new coaching client yesterday. The young man struggled to define success and therefore having difficulty feeling successful.  

One thing we determined about his thinking is that he had a tendency toward perfectionism and therefore believed that any mistake equals failure instead of learning. 

A conclusion he arrived at through our conversation is that he loved learning new things and was robbing himself of that experience through his perfectionism. Something he has agreed to reflect upon.

What does this have to do with the journey versus the destination? I’ll explain in a bit.

One thing life has taught me lately, at least in terms of my experience of it, is that emotion invested in fixed destinations can be a slippery slope.

These days life seems to exist in two main categories, what’s now and what’s next?

The reason for this is because living with so much unpredictability, in my case, roller coaster health issues, even the best laid plans and crystal-clear destinations can be shattered in an instant.

What you’re left with is having to grieve the loss of a coveted destination that now seems out of reach. Fortunately, life doesn’t have to be lived that way.

Another sentiment I suspect you’re familiar with is one that says the present moment is the only reality, is the place where all experience and happiness resides.

In that vein, the journey, the step you’re taking right now, is the whole of your experience, the whole of your life, and the only thing that requires your undivided attention.

Once that step is taken, with all your heart, all of your courage, and all of your attention the only thing that’s left to do is take the next step.

In which case, you live your life in terms of what’s now and what’s next, make sense?

The client I mentioned earlier was able to shift his thinking to define what’s now as a journey of learning, and what’s next as an opportunity to apply what he’s learned. How’s that for simple and yet profound?

It’s a big leap from his perfectionism and the return to the wonder that made him feel good about himself and his work.

We can discuss this topic for hours, I’m sure. But now I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. How do you approach your journey? Do you have a destination? Please share.  

That’s all for now.

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