The DESTINATION or The JOURNEY?
- Which is more important?
By Dominick Caracillo
As we look at the ever continuing pursuit of happiness and each of our futures, there is often a interesting question of whether the destination or the journey is the more important. If you seek the advice of others, this question might be quite confusing and debatable. Many will say that the destination; having a vision or a goal, and keeping your eye on that is the most important aspect to achieving greatness and happiness. Whether that be monetary success, career growth, love, or any other of the billion possibilities to which many measure success and happiness it is different for all of us. However, there are those that will state that the journey is the most important aspect of achieving any said measure, because the journey is where we experience life and where we spend our time. I have an intertwined perspective on this that I am interested in sharing with you.
Let me begin with a cliff notes version of my learning experiences. I used to be someone that was highly focused on the destination. Many people that knew me well might even say, that my sole focus was the ever distant destination to which I was striving. For me, this was career growth, which would hopefully provide monetary success, and freedom. However, this destination was created and driven by a much deeper purpose. In my eyes it was to pay my dues of sacrifice during a time that those sacrifices would only affect myself, in hopes that my future family would be able to benefit from those sacrifices, without ever having to experience them. I was very young and ambitious, and at times a victim of my ambition.
One unforeseen obstacle after another, I continued to endure the journey to my destination. Reminding myself why I was tirelessly pushing forward. Little did I understand, the very important balance between the journey and the destination. Roll down this road with me four years and you will stumble upon a six month span that flipped my life upside down. Now, I have always tried to be a positive person, however I believe that I didn’t truly learn the meaning of this, until after this six month stint. Within six months I had seen two emergency room visits, and two surgeries that spurred from those visits, one a result of a motorcycle accident to which I likely could have been killed. Now, I am very hard headed which is probably why it took all of this for me to figure out the intertwined workings of the journey and the destination.
During and after this six months, I took time to reflect on where I was in life, where I wanted to be, and what my journey had looked like thus far. I will tell you, although I feel that I am in a position that has progressed from where I started, I look at a slue of opportunity passed by. Looking back at the dedication I had solely placed on my destination, I found that there were many chances along the way, that I could have enjoyed and experience the journey significantly more then I had. See, like many ambitious people, I had been so caught up in the destination and what I wanted to accomplish, that I did not take advantage of all that life had to offer along the way. However I have now learned one thing that I will take with me forever, and hopefully many will too.
The journey is the most important part of the destination!
It is my perspective now that the destination only matters AFTER we make the most of the journey. If we do not embrace and enjoy the journey, we will look back and question whether it was all worth it. In order to live fulfilled lives and feel accomplished daily, we must take time to ensure we are enjoying the journey. Now there are a few dynamics that I wish to share to ensure my perspective is understood correctly.
- The destination is important. I would say that the destination is built from the combination of purpose and vision. Purpose and vision behind the destination is where the importance lies.
- Vision needs to be our fuel in order to help us through the hard times. The vision is what keeps us going when things do get tough and we run into obstacles, which will happen. Our understanding of our purpose remains the driving force to which creates the significance of our destination. This purpose is important to keep us aligned with what we truly are striving for. ‘Purpose’ is our WHY behind what we strive for.
Enjoying the journey is not the same as ‘do whatever’ and ‘waste your time’. What I mean by this is on the path you take, if your destination is far, and your vision wide, it will not happen overnight. Great things take time, and in between, enjoy the small opportunities there will be, to just live and experience life along the way. Doing this, you will create so much more depth and often will expand your mind and allow your journey become truly worth taking. This will also provide ease and comfort through the tough times. Be understanding that you have to have patience for anything great to ever happen.
I look back now and see that for many years I was caught up in the destination and was not allowing the journey to bring me value. I have now realized the life that was surrounding me on the way to the destination. Life can only be lived once, and it is important that we do not allow our focus or our drive to our destination, to keep us blinded from the life that we live daily, and the beauty that is all around us. Take the moments to add value to those around us, learn from the people we encounter and just LIVE.
A few things to take back:
- Understand your purpose, and allow it to create your vision.
- Once your purpose and vision have provided you a clear destination, allow yourself to reflect often to ensure that you are working towards that destination.
- Allow your destination to have flexibility. Don’t be so set on one destination that you allow amazing opportunities to pass you by.
- Enjoy everything along the way. Don’t let life pass you by, live it.
- Reflect often on your journey to ensure that you are taking full advantage of the value of the lessons along the way.
- Live like your going to get in a motorcycle wreck tomorrow :)
Share this with someone that is on a Journey.
Be sure to reflect daily and learn from life.
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