Approach
22Jul

Enjoying the Journey

by Paul Sherman

I recently came across the following passage in Eckhart Tolle's book, "Stillness Speaks," and felt compelled to share it:

"Do you treat this moment as if it were an obstacle to be overcome? Do you feel you have a future moment to get to that is more important? Almost everyone lives like this most of the time. Since the future never arrives, except as the present, it is a dysfunctional way to live. It generates a constant undercurrent of unease, tension, and discontent. It does not honor life, which is Now and never not Now."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find myself in a continual dance between trying to truly live in the present yet having a healthy appreciation for the future. As a chronic worrier, this has been a lifelong struggle (my pendulum tending to swing too much toward the future). In recent years I've begun to better manage this dichotomy of present and future by actively working to internalize (not just intellectualize) that worn cliche "the journey is the destination." To my surprise, it actually works for me to periodically stop and ask myself: "how fulfilled am I in my daily journey?" I literally take out a piece of paper and rate the journey on a scale of 1-10. While I realize that not everyday can be filled with rainbows and sunshine, I find that if I'm consistently rating the journey as a bust, it may be time to re-evaluate and make some changes so that I'm able to enjoy the present instead of living for an imagined future that may or may not ever arrive.

This is in no way an indictment of setting long term goals and doing the hard work to achieve them. However, I believe that it is my responsibility to ensure that my journey toward these goals should, by and large, feed my soul, not deplete it. What good is it to attain a goal if, in order to get there, I have had the life sucked out of me? #whatmatters

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