Finding Joy in the Journey

For the longest time, I’ve felt inclined to write because of this notion that I just KNOW. I’ve learned a lot of hard lessons over the past decade. Throughout my life experiences, I’ve suffered, I’ve thrived, I’ve grown—as we all do. But, simply having self-awareness doesn’t equate to knowing everything or even knowing what is for the best. I was so sure that I needed to write a book because it seemed like the logical way to monetize my passion. They always say, do what you love for a career and you’ll never hate your job. Yet, I was so fixated on the end result, “write a book to make money”, that I didn’t realize I was paddling my boat upstream.

Life feels so much easier when there’s not resistance. When you just flow with life, instead of stubbornly pushing against it. I’ve realized that being so goal-oriented and focused on results has made the process dreadful.

Something quite amusing that I’ve observed is my dog behaves in the complete opposite way. He loves destroying his squeaky toys, and besides food, treats, and walks, nothing gets him as excited as a squeaky toy does. After a few jubilant rounds of catch, he’ll begin to rip it apart, chewing and pulling at it with intensity. When he reaches the point where the fabric has been torn, the stuffing is coming out, and the plastic squeaker is in clear sight and ready to be punctured, he’ll adjourn from the task. He realizes he’s getting close to completely destroying it and he CHOOSES to stop. He saves that moment for another day. He does this because he enjoys the process so much that he’d rather have longevity than the result.

It fascinates me because as humans we’re conditioned or programmed to glorify results. You can only be happy when you reach your destination. You can only be satisfied when you’ve achieved your goal. When you make “x amount of money”, when you land “that relationship”, when you get “that job”. Except when we finally get there, wherever that is, we are satisfied only for a moment, before we focus on wanting the next thing.

I’ve lived my life this way for so long. I’m tired of creating dissatisfaction within myself because my ego tells me that something else would be better. It’s a mirage, I promise you. The past few months when I was so focused on writing a book, I was miserable. Here I was, doing something that I love, but hating the process because I just wanted to be at the finish line. What if I don’t publish a book until I’m 40? Or 50? Or 67? Does that mean I have to hate my career or I can’t feel fulfilled in my life until that point in time?

This way of living, this way of moving through life is ridiculous. I don’t regret any of the choices or the decisions that I’ve made because they’ve led me to where I stand today. But, instead of constantly focusing on a mile ahead, I need to redirect my gaze to the present moment. Because wherever we currently are, we are meant to be there. Let’s enjoy today and enjoy the process; let's find joy in the journey. Thank you Ranger, for being my spiritual teacher today.