We’ve all heard the quote “life is about the journey, not the destination.” And if you’re anything like me, you probably hear it and say to yourself bull shit, the journey is cool and all but get me to that destination ASAP.
It’s human nature to focus on the destination – especially in our modern culture where immediate satisfaction is everything and we are constantly juggling as many projects (and open Google tabs!) as our brains will allow.
It will always seem pretty impossible for me to focus on the journey when I am sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405 and all I want is to get to my yoga class, or when I just miss the subway on the way to a meeting and the next one is not coming for another 18 minutes.
I’m not here to tell you to focus on the journey in those types of situations (I will drag you to a yoga or meditation class one day instead), but I am here to tell you there are certain situations where focusing on the journey is incredibly important.
For every person who thinks, “I will be happy when I ________.” Fill in the blank…
– I will be happy when I am thin enough
– I will be happy when I am fit enough
– I will be happy when I am in a relationship
– I will be happy when I start eating healthier
– I will be happy when I have my dream job
– I will be happy when I am able to afford that kickass vacation
– I will be happy when I am married with kids
– I will be happy when I am famous and on the cover of Vogue (you never know what people’s aspirations are!)
It’s in these types of situations where I urge you to take a step back and focus on the journey rather than the destination. Because guess what? There is no destination when it comes to living your life. Sure, our day to day has plenty of mini-destinations, but our overall happiness and wellbeing and existence does not.
It’s wonderful to have goals. Create them, work toward them, crush them, by all means. But if all you focus on is the endpoint of those goals then you are not living in the now. Once you’re there, you’ll have your next goal. When I was at my thinnest and fittest, all I could concentrate on was being thinner and fitter. I obsessed over it. I didn’t live in the moment. Not. Healthy.
And I still have issues with it! Which lead me to writing this post today – I need to focus on enjoying every moment of my journey so that I can soak up every moment of this beautiful life. With my insane stomach and digestion problems, I find this constant inner monologue running through my head: “When I get my stomach problems under control, I will be so happy. I will feel light and free and amazing and content, and I won’t have a worry in the world.”
The problem is… I know better than that! I know what it’s like to have my stomach problems under control, and it definitely doesn’t mean that all of my worries and fears disappear. It just means that I have one less thing to worry about (one pretty huge thing, but still). If one destination were really a cure-all to our problems, then I think we would have all gotten there by now.
So, instead of focusing on curing my stomach probs TODAY and/or TOMORROW (because I’m totally immediate like that), I will try my best to focus on the journey. I am keeping a food diary, I am trying everything under the sun to treat my body well, I am exercising daily, maintaining a plant-based diet, meditating, drinking alcohol in veryyy small moderation and filling my time with things that make me unbelievably happy.
Not to mention I live in NYC with my best friend, I get to spend every day doing work that I absolutely love, I have the greatest people in my life and lots of fun adventures coming up… there is a whole lot to be excited about. And I won’t let my “I will be happy when I ______” thoughts get in the way.
Who’s with me?! Let’s enjoy our freaking journeys. Oh, and listen to this song because it’s amazing. I am so obsessed with it right now!