It’s the journey, not the destination


Photo courtesy of GlacierNPS (Creative Commons)

As the end of the year nears and resolutions are being made, I return again to the idea of my three words for the year, as encouraged by Chris Brogan. I viewed my decisions through the lens of my three words this past year, and found myself more focused, more intentional, and more brave. I expect even more for 2013.

I thought I had decided on my words for 2013, but I have discovered a need to change one of them,  which I guess is legal until January 1. I had originally chosen DISCIPLINE because I wanted to expand the discipline that I have developed with writing and running each morning into other areas of my life, to create healthy habits for other things that are important to me.

But on Friday, I spoke with Todd Collins with Team World Vision, who is helping organize a team of runners from my church to participate in the Country Music Half and Full Marathon and raise money for clean water in Haiti. He kept talking about the importance of the journey toward this race. With all of the training and bonding with the other people on the team, the journey is what’s important, not the final destination. So there’s that word – journey.

On Saturday, I attended a funeral in which Pastor Chris Joiner spoke of the man whose life we were celebrating in terms of his journey to know Christ and to fulfill God’s plan for his life. There it is again – journey.

Then Saturday evening, I was reading a post by Lisa Guerke Weikel, one of my classmates in the Blog Topics Master Class (affiliate link), in which she talks about reflecting and embarking on a journey to the Winter Solstice. For the third time – journey.

Three times in two days is just too much to ignore. I realize also that discipline comes easy for me, so to focus on that as one of my words is not much of a challenge or a stretch for the year.

JOURNEY, on the other hand, is a huge challenge for me. I am not a good traveler, either physically or mentally. When I go on a trip, I rarely enjoy the traveling, I just want to be there and then be home. When I work on a project or task, I relish the completion rather than revel in the doing of the work.

Years ago, I quit quilting and sewing because I realized it was not a relaxing activity for me. It wasn’t that I enjoyed the quilting or the stitching, I just wanted the piece finished. That’s not healthy.

I realize I need to slow down, and pay more attention to the scenery along the way to my destination. Learn to enjoy the conversations with the people I meet along the way, take in the sights, and watch myself grow.

I need to be less concerned with the outcome and more concerned with the process. I have managed to learn that with my running – I do enjoy the run itself. Finishing is nice, don’t get me wrong, but it’s more about the activity.

So now my three words for 2013 are JOURNEY, APPRECIATE, DELIGHT.

How would your life be different if you focused on the journey rather than the destination?