Finding Joy in the Journey

Uncategorized Aug 24, 2020

We hear a lot about setting goals, pursuing dreams, and pushing to achieve our full potential.

And I'm all for it. After all, a big part of living a Momentous Life is fully utilizing our gifts and talents to make the world a better place.

If we don't have something ahead of us that we're striving for, if we're not growing, as I've said before, then we stagnate, become despondent or lost, and lose our spark. Life becomes mundane drudgery.

But what if our goals and dreams are so big, that they will take months, perhaps years, to achieve? Sometimes it can feel as if we'll never get there. 

It always helps, in my experience, to chunk down your goals into bite-sized pieces. How big is bite-size? That depends on you, and how much you can handle at once.

And here's something magical that I've discovered: it's just as important to find joy in tackling each of those chunks, as it is to crave that end result. If the steps you need to take to get there are making you miserable, then perhaps it's time to re-examine whether you really should be pursuing that goal?

We get one life. ONE. Do you really want to spend the bulk of it slogging through your days, doing things you hate, because you think Nirvana is at the end and "it will all be worth it"? 

How many people do you know who worked extremely hard in their jobs for 40+ years, looking forward to retirement so they could travel, pursue their hobbies or enjoy their family, only to pass away not long after they started collecting their pension?

I would argue that it's every bit as important to enjoy the journey towards your goal, as it is to achieve the final result. Part of this is about choosing the right goals, but it's also about choosing to find the joy in each experience (or, as Brendon Burchard says, Bring the Joy!). 

Now, I'm not saying that you'll never have to do anything you don't like doing in order to make progress towards your goals. Of course not - we all have to do things we dislike from time to time.  But what I am saying, is that you have the power to change your attitude and find something good even about the task you're not thrilled about. And if every single step still fills you with dread, then it's time to stop and re-evaluate whether it's worth it.

We can apply this concept to just about any goal, but particularly a big one. Let's look at just a few examples...

Getting out of debt... chances are, one of your steps will be that you'll have to scale back on your spending. That doesn't sound like fun! But what about turning it into a game? How many "no spend" days in a row can you achieve? Then try to beat your previous score. This is actually a technique I myself used (among others) when digging out from tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Earning a college or university degree... there will be required courses that you're not really excited about. But can you meet a new friend in the class? Can you motivate yourself to do the coursework by setting up a reward that you only get if you complete it?

Starting a business... maybe you hate the administrative aspects of being an entrepreneur. So, treat yourself by giving your home office a nice fresh paint job, adding some plants and an area rug to warm up the space so you won't mind sitting at your desk as much, or turning on some upbeat music to dance to while you plow through your filing. 

Earlier this year, I set a goal to complete a 50K walk. I signed up for a race that takes place in mid-September 2020. I embarked on a training program. And just as I mentioned above, I had to chunk it down; I couldn't just go out there and try walking 50K without first building up my strength and stamina. 

There have been many long training walks at the weekends, and it's been blistering hot for most of them. I have complained about the heat, I've complained about my sore hips, and I've complained about cyclists, runners and other walkers getting in my way and not properly maintaining 2 metres of physical distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But I've also been awestruck by myriad beautiful moments. Cicadas buzzing in the trees. Cardinals, mourning doves, finches, cranes on the water, hawks circling above. The beauty of mottled sunlight dappling through the trees as we hiked through forested trails. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Gorgeous manicured gardens, and lovely homes of all eras and designs. The amazing smells: burgers and steaks on the barbecue...lavender...lemon balm...pine. 

And for most of my walks, I've had the company of a wonderful friend, which has led to both deep, heartfelt conversations, and several moments of utter hilarity.

By focusing on these joyful moments and all the beauty around me, I am distracted from the discomforts and frustrations, and I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to each and every training walk.

What will YOU focus on to bring joy to your journey towards your goals? Share with us in the comments below, so we can cheer you on!

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