I live in the Duluth, MN area of the country. Winter is cold… and long. So every January that we are able, we leave for a week. Whether we fly to Florida or Mexico, we have to get out of here and recharge our batteries. There are a lot of hearty people in the Twin Ports, but I am not one of them. I am from the West Coast, and it doesn’t get nearly as cold there.
As much as I like to travel, what I like best is playing on the beach. Arriving at the hotel or condo, dropping my bag and going to the pool or the beach and warming myself in the sunshine is what it’s all about. That’s the goal, that’s the point. I want to be in the warm sunshine. That is why I bought the ticket and made the reservation.
Too often in life, I hear people say things like; it’s about the journey, not the destination. Can I tell you I think that is complete BS. It’s a lie. It’s not about the journey. It is about the destination. “I can’t wait for the plane ride. It’ll be a lot better than a week in Mexico.” said no one, ever. What kind of sick person gets excited about the adventure of the TSA line?
When we tell ourselves that life, goals, dreams, and aspirations are about the journey, we create cognitive dissonance (the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes.). In other words, we try to convince ourselves of something we don’t really believe. That can create chaos in our brains and waste a lot of energy for no reason.
“I can’t wait for the plane ride. It’ll be a lot better than a week in Mexico.” said no one, ever.
When we say it’s about the journey, not the destination, we minimize our goals and the life we want to pursue. We all have passions and dreams that drive our lives. We want to be a better parent, worker, business owner, or community member. We have dreams we want to pursue. Vacations to arrive at, a business that we want to be successful.
If it is all about the journey, then what is the purpose of setting a goal or having a dream? We could go through life encountering struggle without a purpose and call it successful living. Because after all, ‘it’s all about the journey and not the destination’, right?
We embrace the journey, the struggle, the failures and successes on the way to what we want. Whether we are climbing a mountain or starting a new job. We embrace adventure but it doesn’t mean we have arrived where we want to be.
I know, the journey and the destination go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. So what do we do with the journey? We learn from the journey. We embrace the journey, but that doesn’t mean we have to glorify the journey. While we are on the adventure; we are going to fall and fail, trip and make mistakes. Hopefully, we learn along the way.
The destination, the goal or the dream is what caused us to start the journey in the first place. For most things worth doing, there is often struggle. That is part of the human condition. I don’t want it to define my life and memories. When I look back on my trips out of the Twin Ports, there is not one time I can remember saying to my wife “Remember that amazing memory we had in the Chicago airport…”
We have dreams, aspirations, and destinations in mind. We pursue them and reach for the goal. Along the way, we experience the journey. Set goals, have dreams and pursue them. Live the journey, but enjoy the destination.