the Goal, the journey, or neither?
What is more important to you: the goal or the process of achieving it?
What if the truth is neither? That the real truth lies not in a goal, in results, or even in the journey.
It’s beautiful that today in the world of sports, business, health, and so on, the focus is on enjoying the journey rather than the destination. Let’s use the journey of health as an example. The (proper) journey of being healthy starts with, well, defining what healthy looks like and feels like to you. In other words, what your intention is and the meaning behind it. Then, enjoying the journey means that in becoming that definition of health, the individual realizes that their joy, happiness, and success does not lie when it is achieved, rather they are to enjoy the challenge and struggle of becoming that new person i.e to live in the moment no matter how challenging.
To emphasize further, the focus on the journey is very enjoyable, effective, and sustainable. In August 2019, when I was an ambassador for Mindvalley, I listened to the Mindvalley Talk, How To Eliminate Stress And Anxiety FOREVER by Dr. Srikumar Rao. In this lesson, Dr. Rao presents a valid reason for why stress arises in the first place, the illusion of control. He encourages listeners to forget about the goal. Goals are only important because they set direction. Once the direction has been set, forget about the goal, don’t even think about the goal. Instead, he encourages listeners to put their emotional energy on what is needed to accomplish/to do in order to achieve it. What a powerful shift in perspective and understanding of stress! It recognizes that life is full of journeys and not destinations. He even poses questions to ask that assists in making decisions ranging from books to read, movies to watch, subjects to learn, and careers to choose:
Is this a journey I want to take? Is this a place I want to spend my time?
A reasoning is that often we know the ending to things, like movies or books. Rather than choosing the result, it places the focus on the journey there. Or, in the case of a career, it places the focus not only on the journey there but also the journey in that career. Although the focus on the journey is effective and truthful, there is another question, a subtle - sometimes very subtle - focus that precedes choosing the journey over the goal. The following will shed some light on what this preceding focus is. In the “What I am Learning” section of last week’s newsletter, I wrote about learning the discourse I Will Choose the King 1971 by the Lubavitcher Rebbe. It was originally delivered on his birthday, so I started learning in honor of the 120th anniversary Tuesday of this week. By the hand of G-d, this was the first maamar, discourse, I learned two years ago, a few months after I returned from a 10 day silent meditation retreat (video: