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The Journey

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

We can never reach a goal, or a chosen destination in life, simply by thinking about it –

no matter how often, or how resolutely we do so.

We can only reach that objective by first thinking about the path or journey we will need to take in order to achieve it.

However that process alone will not be enough. Having determined the required path, we must continue to break down our chosen route until we have clearly identified and understood the first step - or the next step - that we need to take.

The here and now step.

And then, even more importantly, having worked out what the here and now step is,

we need to actually take it.[1]

And so now, finally, we are on our way.

And it feels good, doesn’t it?

Because with a goal in mind, and a clear plan of how we are going to achieve it, our life has a purpose, and just as importantly, a momentum, that would otherwise be absent.

That said, if we reflect on our intended destination after each and every step, the journey we have set ourselves to take will in all probability be an unnecessarily arduous one. Indeed the likelihood is that we will not enjoy it; at least not as fully as we might.

Having chosen our goal or destination, and having formulated a route to reach it, we need to then trust our instincts; following that path patiently for a tolerable period of time – step by step, day by day – carrying with us always an optimism and self-belief born of thoughtful planning and realistic expectation.

But we also need to make sure, as we go, that we take in and appreciate the scenery we encounter along the way.

Remember, there may be many fascinating day trips and side tracks to be had from our chosen path - some or all of which we may overlook, or forgo, if we remain solely focussed on our original destination.

We may even discover, in time, that one or more of these unplanned spontaneous diversions have contributed in some significant way to the fabric of what has become, as a result, an even richer and more fulfilling life.

What we may also discover over time is that the destination or goal we once aspired to reaching is not, as we approach it, what we had originally imagined it to be. In those circumstances an inflexible pre-occupation with reaching that specific goal, and it alone, no matter the cost, may lead to a dispiriting sense of disappointment, or even failure.

In remaining ever open to a change of destination en route or, at the very least, to the contemplation of such a change, we are much more likely to conclude, when all is said, and done, that the journey we have taken, and the life we have lived, has been a greater reward to us than our naïve objective - conceived at that unenlightened time before our journey had even begun – could ever have been.

The ultimate destination for all of us is death.

Which only serves to emphasise that there is little that is enviable to be gained from focussing solely on where we are headed.

So be bold, if and when you can, and proudly live the life you were put here to live.

I wish you well.

[1] This same philosophy and approach may well apply with equal benefit to the performance of disagreeable tasks as it does to the achieving of desired outcomes. If, instead of focussing on the unpleasantness (which may, in any event, only be perceived), we concentrate on the process – ie what step do I need to undertake now in order to get this task completed? – we may well find the task is less objectionable, and less challenging, than we initially imagined it to be.

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