Why Focusing on the Journey Lets Us Win

Warning: your life will improve after reading

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

It is easy to do what is easy.

Plain and simple. The path of least resistance is oftentimes the most attractive path. The fewest obstacles always appeals to the laziness inside of us. Challenges inspire certain degrees of self-doubt.

It is easy to do what is easy. This much is certain.

But speaking in terms of fulfillment, it is never easy to do what is easy.

Certainly, it would be easy to take a job that you are overqualified for, that you will not learn anything in, that you can operate on auto-drive.

But there’s rarely fulfillment in this path. A mundane ritual like this, day in, day out, begets a poor and restless soul.

This is why there is a necessity for striving.

Striving allows us to aim for something that we cannot do yet; it allows us to try and be better than the person we were the day before.

This is the harder path, undoubtedly, yet this is the path where meaning and fulfillment reside. They await upon this path eager to be picked up by individuals who are up to the challenge.

The path of most resistance, we can call this, is nearly unfailingly the most meaningful path. By encountering the greatest number of obstacles, the destination is sweeter.

A journey straight and true, without bumps and bruises, makes the destination far too attainable. There is nothing special in a thing if it is something that everyone, anywhere can do without tribulation.

But a journey with ruts and terror and enemies trying to prevent success — this is a journey worth your suffering.

This is a journey that makes for a destination that no one else could attain.

Nobody Runs a Race for the Medal

Think of a gold medal after a marathon. Nobody runs a marathon for the feeling of holding the medal afterwards.

You run a marathon for the journey — the rigors of training for months, years on end, the pain of endurance running, the sweetness that awaits on the other side of suffering.

Nobody runs a race just to hold the medal.

Think of every great novel you have ever read, or every adventure movie from Hollywood. This archetypal path shows up time and time again.

There are no books or movies about a journey that did not have obstacles because we as an audience simply are not interested in the path of least resistance.

What captures our attention is the struggle of the journey.

And this is why each of us should be aiming, striving to replicate this in our own lives. In our day to day existence.

Striving, aiming for something challenging and worthwhile, this is where the meaning of life hides, somewhere between a rock and a hard place.

It is the journey that holds the lessons worth learning and the experiences worth recounting. The destination — money, fame, a degree, accolades — these are only trimmings.

As the adage goes, enjoy the journey. This is where experience is waiting to be gobbled up and endured and enjoyed.

The Buddha said himself, “It is better to travel well than to arrive safely” — and this was centuries ago.

The statement rings as true today as ever.

Focusing on the destination is a sure-fire way to miss the sundry lessons and experiences along the way within the journey.

Focus on the journey itself, and the destination pops up in no time, as if it was just another stepping stone within a greater journey.

This is where meaning lies — within the path that one loses themselves in because the journey itself is so rife with experiences.

Focus on the journey. Focus on learning and growing to be better than the day before. The goal should be aimed at a worthwhile destination, but the focus should remain on the everyday steps it takes to arrive.

Victory, as you’ll see, is right around the corner.

Phil Rosen is a writer, editor, and blogger. His new book is available on Amazon. If you want to see more of his ideas, check out his Instagram and travel blog.

Written by

Bestselling travel writer. Columnist. Author. USC Annenberg School of Journalism. https://philsnextstop.blog

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