People talk a lot about goals and achievements and desired outcomes. It’s a really great thing to have an end-point in mind.
The goal is a singular achievement that is forthcoming. But between where you are now and where you desire to be there is a journey to undertake.
The journey tends to lack a set time-frame and frequently has no specific instructions. If you knew how to create a new goal already, you’d likely have done it before. So now you undertake this journey into the unknown.
When you are hyper-focused on the end goal, the journey can fade into the background. It’s like walking down a tunnel — you focus on the light at the end of it, and may completely miss details of the tunnel itself along the way.
There are lots of reasons to pack a bag, get water and trail-mix, and prepare to make the journey more of a hike.
Unexpected discoveries await
One of the coolest things about the journey itself is that it is full of the unexpected. Largely due to focus on the end result, it can be easy to miss the vast amount of super-cool stuff you may encounter along the way.
First, you don’t know how you will travel along the way. Might be a car, boat, plane, train, on foot, or who knows? Further, it might be curvy, straight, uphill, downhill — again, it’s an unknown. And just to add some confusion to it — all of the above may be applicable.
The general point remains that you can expect the unexpected. The goal you are striving for may have known aspects and specifics to it. But to get there is likely going to thoroughly involve the unknown.
Whenever you set out along a path for your life, you are going to encounter the unexpected. Twists and turns, obstacles, triumphs, and tribulations are what make up your life experience. Every single day has the potential to bring you new and different things. Every day you may be traveling your path or whatever to get to an end result, but it will differ all the time.
It’s like a TV show with a major story arc for a season. Most of the episodes advance the arc to the conclusion. However, from time to time they toss in a largely filler episode, and it doesn’t do anything for the overall storyline. The journey of your life likely works exactly like this.
That can be infuriating. Everyone wants to get where they desire by the quickest means possible. If you are working towards something you have never experienced before, a different life than you have now, though you may know it, the journey to get there is a complete mystery.
How will the journey go?
This, I suspect, is why a lot of people don’t choose to pursue dreams. Because how to pursue it can be confusing and utterly uncertain.
When you are setting out from here to there, and you have never been there before, you are not going to know how the trip will look. This is true of a literal journey. Sure, most roads look similar, but at the same time they are not. The trees and homes and businesses along the side are different. All of it may be familiar, but it’s full of the unknown.
You either need to use a GPS or consult a map to know how to navigate a journey to somewhere you’ve not been to before. The problem is, even if you have a map, what you experience along the way isn’t going to be the same as what someone else will.
Traffic might vary. A shop selling Star Wars memorabilia catches your eye and draws you off the road after some backtracking. A museum featuring the World’s Largest Shrimp might fascinate you enough to steal away an afternoon.
Another person on a journey to the same goal might not give a rat’s ass about those and just drive through. But that’s the thing about the metaphoric journey to a goal. The unexpected encounters on your journey may or may not draw your attention away.
How will the journey go? My answer is not going to be the same as yours. I can share my experiences with my journey, but that may just act as waypoints you don’t care to stop and visit. The unknown can be really scary…if you see it that way.
Fear is a choice
You can choose to be afraid of the unknown. I know that might seem crazy, that fearing what you don’t know is natural. But that’s not true.
Due to the nature of our fear-based society, we accept that the unknown should be scary. It gets reinforced all the time by sensational media, fiction, and the tendency to provide warnings instead of encouragement to people when they take steps towards an unknown outcome.
What if, instead of being afraid of the unknown, you choose to be excited about it? Rather than see it as potential bad, see potential good? Instead of seeing losing what you have seeing gaining new and better?
You are empowered to choose. This can be hard to believe, in particular, because more messages tell you that you don’t have this power than tell you that you do. Yet that doesn’t change the reality that you ARE empowered to choose fear or excitement.
The goal is known, at least to a point. But when it is something you’ve never done before, the journey to get there is a mystery. That can be really exciting. So many discoveries, the potential for new experiences and occurrences. Just thinking that way might make you smile.
You get to choose to be afraid, or not. If you choose to see the journey for potential rather than problems, chances are you will be better prepared to embrace and maybe even enjoy the unexpected that you encounter along your way.
It never hurts to be prepared
This is another choice. Will you be prepared for triumph or disaster? Success or failure? Good fortune or bad?
Certainly, you could prepare for both. But I think, like choosing positivity over negativity, you are better off preparing to start a journey for prosperity.
The important takeaway here is this: Enjoy the journey. Experience what it has to offer on the way to your desired goal. Take the time and see what you might otherwise miss.
I am striving to make my living as a writer. Medium.com was an unexpected discovery on my journey that has impacted both the journey itself, and my goal. Now I focus on writing every day and sharing my ideas as I work towards earning enough as a writer to make the career of it I most desire.
The unknown is so full of potential, and the experiences you might have along the way could change the shape of the outcome and your desire.
That, too, can be scary. But if the thing you desire is true, then chances are the experiences you have on the journey will enhance it, not alter it. But if it’s not truly what you desire, then the unexpected aspects of the journey may provide a new and clearer end result.
Mindfulness of the journey will make it a lot more enjoyable. Pack your trail-mix, settle in, and have an amazing hike along the way.
You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you matter, and you should relish in all journeys you undertake.