Can you believe we’re through the first month of 2019? What a whirlwind it has been! As I reflect back on my evolution as a business owner and the phases my business has been through, I keep coming back to the idea: “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” This has become one of my favorite mantras.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, this mantra reminds me to focus on one step at a time. As long as I complete steps toward my goals, I am making progress and that’s all that matters. When I start to doubt myself, I ask, “Just what am I trying to prove here?” Ultimately, as long as I’m living into my vision for Conscious Strong™, I have nothing to prove.
Unfortunately, I think some people have a negative association with the idea, “It’s about the journey, not the destination.” They see it as a cop out—as a way to “spin” failure. If you never reach your destination, they think, you can avoid feeling badly by focusing on your journey instead. So who’s right here?
It’s Not About Being Right
The Sufi poet, Rumi, once said, “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” This line comes from a beautiful poem called “A Great Wagon.” At its core, the poem is about seeking freedom or liberation. But we humans can get so wrapped up in being “right” and in labeling the actions of others as “wrong.” Why do we do this? Where’s the freedom we seek?
In short, we focus on what’s “right” and “wrong” because we’re seeking freedom. We believe that once we figure out what’s right and go after that, we’ll be free. And what Rumi wants us to understand is that the freedom is in not labeling. Freedom is in getting out beyond human judgment.
When I tell myself or my kids, “It’s about the journey, not the destination,” I’m encouraging them to find Rumi’s idea of freedom. What I have in mind is “keep going.” Despite your negative thoughts and your (limited) mind’s perception about how terribly far you have left to go, you must keep going.
In this small way, you can find freedom in focusing on your journey. I’m not making excuses or “spinning” anyone’s failures. I’m choosing to live into Rumi’s sentiment. I’m choosing the field.
This small lesson and rumination above is an example of living the Conscious Strong™ life. A mantra or a poem might spark an inspiration in my mind:
“It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”
I will turn over little lines like these in my mind. I might journal about them, say them outloud, or repeat them to myself throughout my day. As I reflect, I listen to what these words are telling me. These inspirational ideas strengthen my mind in the same way as movement strengthens my body. I invite you to do the same. The next time inspirational words grab your attention, pay attention to what the universe is saying to you.
Words and poetry are my simple pleasures. But you may find inspiration in other pleasures like music, visual art, film, dance, or a delicious, creamy latte. Whatever your simple pleasures, these are a prerequisite for living into your Conscious Strong™ life. Simple pleasures make the chaos of our lives more bearable and remind us of why we are really here.
Another aspect of the Conscious Strong™ lifestyle is focusing on small changes that make a huge difference over time. My mantra, “It’s about the journey, not the destination,” also leads me to reflect on the small changes I can make in the moment to improve my situation.
It’s tempting, especially around New Year’s resolution time, to make a huge laundry list of all the things we don’t like about ourselves. We want to make huge changes in a matter of weeks or even days. We want to go from never reading, to reading a book a week. We want to go from drinking 5 soft drinks each day to cutting out soda entirely. We know we set ourselves up for failure when we try to make drastic changes in this way.
Instead, why not focus on what’s working and how we can make small changes to lean into our strengths? The Conscious Strong™ programs are all about using our own psychology to make incremental changes and create long-lasting habits. This is the way to succeed at making real change happen. This is a process! Set yourself up for success this year!
My Conscious Strong™ mantra, “It’s about the journey, not the destination,” becomes almost like the rhythm of my heartbeat throughout my day. I love this statement because it reminds us to be present and to appreciate where we are.
What sets the rhythm of your day? Find it for yourself this week. Then, I invite you to meet Rumi and me in the field beyond wrongdoing and rightdoing. You’ll find us dancing in the sun!