The Journey & The Destination

October 6, 2021 • Conversations on the Spiritual Path

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I’m going to make the wild assumption that most of you that are reading this email have heard someone or yourself say, “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.”

I vehemently disagree. 

We as humans, often in our instinctive state, have a tendency to repeat what others say without actually giving it much thought. We need to evaluate our parrot-like behavior and make some adjustments lest we deeply ingrain in our subconscious erroneous beliefs. Why do I disagree?

For me, it’s all about the destination and not the journey. At least the destination comes first then the journey. If my destination is to get to the Annapurna range in the Himalayas of Nepal then my journey will be of a certain nature. If my destination is a beach in the Bahamas then my journey there will be quite different than the journey to the Annapurna range. 

Your destination defines the journey that you have. Unless you are crystal clear of your destination, your journey will most likely be random and one of not much depth. 

I love this quote from the famous 19th-century English writer Lewis Carroll, “If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will get you there.”

A lot of people have no idea where they are going in life or what they want in life and as a result any road will get them there. Now, the journey they will have is a by-product of their lack of clarity as opposed to being defined by the destination. 

When the destination is unknown, the journey is unknown. So much precious time and energy is wasted. As I shared in my previous email. Life is precious. You only get one shot at it. When you get to the end of your life you don’t get to reset it and try again because you’re unhappy with how you lived it. 

Your destination defines your journey. If my destination is to hike the Annapurna range, then I know what to pack. Trekking and mountain wear not beach clothing. Ditch my flip-flops for a good pair of trekking shoes. Swap out my beach chair for trekking poles. I know who to seek as a guide. I don’t need a surf instructor, I need a sherpa. What I experience along the way is vastly different than what I would on the way to the beach. These experiences, like life’s experiences, are there to edify us should we choose to learn from them. 

Knowing your destination allows you to know if you’re going in the right direction or not. If I’m headed to the Annapurna range but the more I hike the closer I get to the beach then I know I’m going in the wrong direction. Knowing my destination allows me to pivot and make necessary changes. 

But if we don’t know the destination then the journey is unknown and the experiences we have on the journey are random. Most of these random experiences are probably experiences you don’t need to have in life. Not all experiences are good for you. Many can simply be avoided if we are clear where it is we want to go. Trust me when I say that if you are crystal clear of your destination you will still have a plethora of challenging experiences to face so having unnecessary random challenging experiences in life as a result of not knowing where you’re going is something you truly don’t need.  

To conclude, life is first about the destination then the journey. The destination defines the journey. Once you are clear of your destination then you can focus on the journey.

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