Define the Destination

October 27, 2021 • Conversations on the Spiritual Path

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A couple of years ago, at an event I held in London, someone in the audience asked me,  “Dandapani, every morning I meditate and I journal. Now I hear you talking about affirmations and it really resonates with me. Should I incorporate affirmations in my morning practice?” 

My response to him was, “The better question to ask or the way I would approach it is by asking the question, ‘Where am I going?’”

Let me give you a simple analogy to elucidate on this. If I’m building a house that’s made out of wood, should I bring stone, cement and sand to the construction site? Or should I bring wood, a hand saw, nails, etc? The latter would be the answer. If I’m building a cement home, then I’ll need cement, sand, bricks etc.

So, the question should be, “What are we trying to achieve?” 

“What’s our goal?” 

Therefore, what are the tools that can help us get to our goal? This is the better way to approach it. Once you are clear of your goal then it is easier to figure out what tools and practices will help get you there. 

Most people’s approach is, “Oh, I see that guy taking that supplement, it must be good. He looks fit. I should take that as well.” 

“I see her doing that meditation practice and it must be having a positive effect on her as she always looks so centered. I should do it too.”

Just because someone has a practice that works well for them does not mean that it is the right practice for you. Always define the goal first. Where do you want to go? Then it’s so much easier to know what will help get you there. 

Duct taping a bunch of random, seemingly helpful tools and practices, in hopes that it will get you where you do not know you are going is not the best approach to take. Yes, they will make you feel better but that is most likely as far as you will get. To make sure progress on the path, the destination must be known first for the goal defines the path and the path defines the practices. 

You don’t need many tools. Just a few good and purpose-aligned tools are sufficient. Once you have this it is important to stay focused. Say to yourself, “These tools are sufficient to help me to get to where I want to go.” Then work on learning them well and practicing them consistently.

The more tools you have does not correspond to the more progress you make. Don’t be a tool collector. 

Get clear of your goal. Let the goal define what you need to get there. Make wise choices based on this. Stay Focused!

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