“What the hell does it mean when people say, ‘It’s about the journey, not the destination’? You don’t run a race for the journey, you run it to arrive,” Tim Grover. Amen! I wrote a few months back about how I couldn’t stand veering off course. I used the example from “Hello, Fears,” where Poler discussed wanting to go to a museum but getting sidetracked on the way there and taking in other things around her. Yes, I can see where that is enjoyable, but I cringe thinking about a situation totally within your control (getting to a museum) and then letting yourself get sidetracked with nonsense you could do anywhere. So, Grover’s quote floored me. He put into words what I have felt viscerally for a long time.
As a side note, there is always merit in slowing down when needed. But when it comes to a goal, we need to stay the course. We may be led in different directions and we may need to incorporate different lessons, but we recognize their purpose. I’m all about the arrival for me. That can be good or bad, I know—and I’ve driven people crazy with intense focus on finishing something. I’ve even been guilty of moving on to the next thing prematurely when things weren’t working out.
Our purpose in life isn’t to achieve a million things or accumulate beyond what we can use—it’s to bring about our purpose—period. That is different for everyone. We need balance. We need people to remind us to let go every now and then and we need people to kick our butts when we allow ourselves to get off course. I don’t want to miss out on things meant for me, and some may argue that things we encounter on the journey are what is meant for us. But I will argue our contribution by learning lessons and sharing them is far more valuable than running a circular journey that takes us no farther than our widest steps.
I wrote the other day about giving up too quickly. I get bored and irritated really easily and if I’m not seeing results, I deem the venture not worth it without much thought. As I’m creating the life I want, that mindset needs to change because the things I want won’t necessarily happen over night and it will take a lot of resistance and a lot of errors to get where I want to be. I don’t want to waste time on things that won’t help me or teach me or take me where I need to go. So maybe the quote needs to be tweaked a little—it’s about the journey AND the destination. We need to achieve goals and we have places we want to go but sometimes we need the lessons we learn along the way to get us from step to step. We may know where we want to go but sometimes we don’t have a say in what happens along the way.