Journey’s End or Journey’s Joy?

Journey’s End or Journey’s Joy? June 12, 2023

Travel Tales

My family loves to travel and visit, places and people, making time in a year to do so. I, especially, love the journey time between my origin and destination. It is as though you are in a vacuum, hanging free in time. I feel in a limbo, away from the tension of my start and yet to feel the impact of my end. If my travel is during the day, the countryside and nature passing by my window, rejuvenate me. Fresh thoughts flood me and I often get insight or inspiration to write.

One such poem, Travel Lore encapsulates perfectly my real estate! However, in life, I found that I was the opposite, focusing on the goal, neglecting the beauty of the path!

All through my school days I was a champion athlete, participating in various events and winning many laurels. I loved to run and instinctly developed the skills to be a good runner, more than being taught the technique to do so.
Athletes running | Jonathan Chng

Track Trail

One of the important traits on the track to be a champion, especially in 100m, is to fix your eye on the end and never get distracted from it. Runners are taught to pick a point/spot on the rope once lane position has been assigned and take off for it at full speed, exerting to the best, once the gun goes off. Eyes should only be on your track lane to avoid cutting tracks and then on the spot. You have to be blind and deaf to all else, including the reaction of spectators. If your attention wavered even for a second, your speed would reduce and cost you the trophy. The goal and reaching it is the only focus you could allow yourself to have, nothing more and nothing less.

I think this training has naturally spilled over into my life, shaping my personality and work culture! This is why, I feel, I have always been focused and intent more on achieving the target, reaching the point, completing the task, being either ignorant or blind to all else. I didn’t mind the price I paid, the pain I endured, the straining of physical health and the emotional upheavals. What needed to be done, must be done, irrespective of the cost, in every way. I would never go beyond the lines and boundaries, but within the framework would often run roughshod over many things and often, people.

Though such concentration and dedication to reach the goal is to be applauded in a runner, it cannot be fully applied to all of life. Such an outlook can make you insensitive and impervious to all other aspects of people and nuances of living.

Even in a job, this will make you a tyrant, autocrat or dictator, one to be feared rather than followed. In the long run, you will develop such an one-dimensional and single color perspective, becoming unaware and unappreciative of the tapestry of life, that makes it makes you monotonous and the work, boring to both you and to those around you!

Life’s Lane

Life is not all about winning or reaching or touching the endpoint. Nor is it about forging ahead and forgetting everything else in your bid to achieve or gain a goal. Life is not a sprint that begins and ends in seconds or minutes or even hours, but a passage of time. It is usually a long distance run, a marathon, or better still, an odyssey.

Life is a trek to be enjoyed, rather than a series of achievement hops. It is not a string of frog jumps from one goal to another. Life is a travel that meanders through a myriad of land forms, often hoarding and hiding different other life forms. It is an expedition of discovery and exploration, an adventure to be tasted and savored.

Living is all about growing, evolving and transforming into greater and higher dimensions of humanity. Every experience, every sight, every situation, every encounter, every instance plays a role in this shaping and forming of us. Whether we use them positively or negatively is up to us, but they do impact us daily, consciously, unconsciously and subconsciously.

Caution Course 

To all those who are like me, I say, slow down, take stock, look around and enjoy the journey on your way to reaching your goal.

The Bible gives the reason why we must enjoy the journey and not just the joy of reaching the goal. In the words of King Solomon the Wise: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. That’s why it is important to relish the journey, the roller-coaster of life’s ups and downs.

The journey is as much a part of life as is reaching or achieving the target. Being sensitive to and savoring the travel will create joy in the small things and even tiny packets of time. Such joy in the ride will compensate and make it all worth while even when you don’t reach the goal and not allow you be stuck in the doldrums.

Not every operation a doctor performs, nor every work a person complete, not every race run ends in a success or a win, inspite of your best efforts. There is no guarantee in life that we would complete or achieve all the time even though we did put in all we had every time.

It is then that we realize the effort and passage itself are reward enough, especially when you done all you can. It is not just about the beginning and the end, but the in-between too!

Let’s understand that peregrination is as important as the end point and take pleasure in everything and everyone we experience and encounter, using them all to learn and mature as we progress through time.

I did not win every race I ran, but I was happy to run, to compete and to complete the race.

That, my friend, is the secret of all of life!

That, my friend is the essence of living!

The journey is as essential and as gratifying as the goal!

A good follow-up article: Second Chances: Don’t Miss Them


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