How to Enjoy the Journey

“It is good to have an end to journey towards, but it is the journey that matters, in the end” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Train Journey to Toronto

Georgetown_GO_Train_EastboundThe faces of the eager commuters in my train instantly changed. The train driver had just announced a delay of 15 minutes.

Some sleep-deprived passengers woke up with a frowny face while others checked time and non-verbally sent negative vibes of disapproval throughout the bus. Meanwhile, there were a few passengers that seemed untouched and maintained their zen-like peace.

Metaphorically, the setting represented a symbolic situation. This journey on the bus was means to these passengers’ destination – mostly for their 9-5 job.

As passengers they had little to no control as to what happens in their journey towards their destination. Delays, emergency alarms, missing the bus, or annoying neighbor passengers are all frequent occurrences.

Few passengers that maintained their peace understood that the ability to enjoy the journey is related to your willingness to sit back and relax like a patient passenger. You have to remind yourself to do this, otherwise your mind snaps out of the moment around you and into a world of contingency-planning and constant worry.

Life Journey We All Are In

Jawwad Siddiqui Life JourneyLikewise in different aspects of our life, we are faced with setbacks in our journey towards a destination. These could range from studying towards achieving good grades, working to improve your relationships, or improving your health.

The essence of enjoying the journey is to be a “patient passenger” mentality. To enjoy the moments between the “destinations”. We as passengers fixate on the future destinations that promise resolution to our current needs – commuting to get to the office, end of workweek, making X amount of $, finding your soulmate etc. We think and act as if it is only the destination where we can finally drop our backpacks and finally be happy and present with life.

There are three problems with waiting for these destinations before you let yourself enjoy;

  • Destination is a Small Percentage of Life – Significant portion of life consists of us being in transit to get somewhere – the pursuit in achievement of a goal. If you can’t enjoy the journey, you will have little to no moments of enjoyment.
  • Moments of arrival at Destination are Short-lived – Soon after a few breaths at the destination we are distracted by the next destination – uncertainties or insecurities.
  • It’s not about getting to the Destination but what the Journey Makes Us – In the end it is the intangibles that give us the most meaning. The struggle, the people we met, memories, and how it shaped our character

Lessons Learned – How to Enjoy the Journey

  • Learn to be a “good passenger” of your journey – actively enjoy the moments between “destinations” as they make majority of your life.
  • “Patient Passenger” accepts the unplanned or inevitable setbacks in the journey towards the destination.
  • It is not the destination that makes us happy but what the journey in pursuit of that goal that makes us happy.

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